The Shakti Mills compound in Mahalaxmi is set to be lit up as its renovation, following the directions of the Bombay High Court, will soon enter its third phase. The previously decrepit compound, where two women were gangraped last year, will soon get LED lights at a cost of Rs 25.71 lakh.
The state public works department (PWD), the nodal agency carrying out the task of securing the compound, told the high court on Tuesday that the 25,067 sqm property could be lit up either with high-pressure sodium vapour (HPSV) lights at a cost of Rs 19.23 lakh or with LED lights.
The official liquidator’s counsel, Naushad Engineer, told the court that there would be a difference in the monthly maintenance of the lights. While HVSP lights will cost Rs 94,385 per month, LED lights will cost Rs 28,538.
“Plan B (LED lights) will be economical in the long run,” Engineer said. The court accepted the suggestion and asked the PWD to proceed with the installation of LED lights.
Apprising the court of the present state of the compound, Engineer said the area had been secured with a barbed-wire fence, and only a main gate had to be fixed.
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“Why is it taking so much time?” Justice N M Jamdar asked. The PWD officers told the court the work would be completed in the next 15 days. The court directed a representative of the official liquidator to visit the premises after the gate was installed. The court will now hear the case on April 23.
Following the gangrape of a photojournalist inside Shakti Mills on August 22, 2013, the high court had asked the official liquidator, custodian of the property, to complete the process of securing the decrepit compound in three phases — clearing of shrubbery, fencing and sealing the premises, and electrification to keep the premises well lit at night.
The PWD had informed the court that the estimated cost to clear and secure the compound would be Rs 1.58 crore. The court was told that a corpus of Rs 1.5 crore was available with the official liquidator after paying off the dues of the erstwhile synthetic yarn mill that was wound up in January 1981.