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LEDs for 25,000 streetlights in Mumbai by March

Currently, 37,045 street lights are operated by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking; 97,347 by Reliance and 12,000 by Maharashtra State Electricity Board.

mumbai Updated: Nov 23, 2017 00:16 IST
Sanjana Bhalerao
Sanjana Bhalerao
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,LED,March
Currently, 37,045 street lights are operated by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking; 97,347 by Reliance and 12,000 by Maharashtra State Electricity Board. (FILE)

sanjana.bhalerao1@hindustantimes.com

Despite a political controversy surrounding the installation of light emitting diodes (LEDs), the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has prepared a policy to convert all streetlights across the city to LED. The first phase includes conversion of 20% of streetlights, 25,000, to LED.

According to civic officials, the 1.26 lakh streetlights in Mumbai will be replaced over time. The cost of the first phase, which also includes maintenance, is Rs130 crore. The BMC currently spends Rs164 crore annually on streetlights and their power consumption.

Currently, 37,045 street lights are operated by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking; 97,347 by Reliance and 12,000 by Maharashtra State Electricity Board.

“Each of the 24 ward offices have submitted a list of areas where the streetlights will be replaced. Tenders have also been floated by utility companies and we are positive that 20% replacement will be completed by March 2018,” said a senior civic official.

In the 2017-18 budget speech, civic chief Ajoy Mehta had announced to replace at least 10% of streetlights with LEDs. The civic body had said the initiative would help conserve energy, but the high initial investment proved to be a dampener.

The BJP-led government at the Centre has been aggressively promoting LEDs for streetlights as well as for households, claiming significant energy savings while the Shiv Sena has been objecting to the move.

The civic body had decided to install LED lights across the city, starting with Marine Drive, in 2015 after former Union power minister Piyush Goyal met former municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte. However, the project ran into controversy after Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray tweeted against it and claimed the BJP did not seek the Sena’s opinion. After the ruckus, Bombay High Court in August had asked BMC to replace the white LEDs at Marine Drive to yellow LED bulbs. At present, only Marine Drive street lights have LED bulbs.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 00:16 IST