The golden glow of the Queen’s Necklace on Marine Drive will be restored and would not mean returning to the yellow sodium vapour lamps replaced to save power. This follows a Bombay High Court directive on Friday.
According to additional government pleader Hiten Venegaonkar, the High Court has ordered that instead of sodium vapour lamps, the state can use yellow LED lights. A central government subsidiary that installed the LEDs, informed the court that LEDs can be changed from white to yellow, and there was no need of going back to sodium vapour lamps.
Earlier, Chief Justice Mohit Shah had asked Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner to ascertain if yellow sodium vapour lamps can be brought back on Marine Drive before August 15.
In January, BMC had replaced the sodium vapour lamps with white LED lights as part of a Rs 250-crore plan to switch all street lighting in the city to the energy-efficient lamps. The corporation claimed it would save over Rs 80 crore in electricity bills.
The Union power ministry’s subsidiary – Energy Efficiency Services Ltd – that installed the lights had approached the HC, seeking a review of observations made by the Chief Justice in a July 2 order.” “The court has not given a specific time limit for the change to be implemented,” said Venegaonkar.
Sena corporator Avkash Jadhav said, “BMC has already missed out on an earlier observation by the HC. The corporation has to set a deadline to change the lights following the Court’s order.” Jadhav has been following the issue since January. A senior civic official said, “We have not received the order yet. However, if it is the High Court’s observations, then we will immediately act on it.”
Earlier, the court had observed” “…Marine Drive necklace was the pride of Mumbai, attracting a large number of tourists and Mumbaikars in the evenings. It was the sodium vapour lights which gave the golden glow to Marine Drive and made it the ‘Queen’s necklace’. An exception is, therefore, required to be made for street lights from the Nariman Point to Walkeshwar by restoring the Sodium Vapour lights to bring the glory of Marine Drive and the Queen’s Necklace back to the City of Mumbai. The newly installed LED lamps can be used elsewhere to save electricity.”
The civic body decided to install LED lights across the city, starting with Marine Drive after Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal met former Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte. Energy Efficiency Services (EESL) had installed the new lights. The project ran into controversy with several BJP-Sena leaders fighting over the installation. Yuva Sena President Aaditya Thackeray also tweeted against the project and claimed BJP did not seek Sena’s opinion on it.
The EESL told the court that the glory of Queen’s Necklace can be restored by simply switching to yellow-coloured LED lights.