After a recent Bombay High Court order, Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta has directed Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a subsidiary of the Union power ministry’, to change the white LED lights on Marine Drive to yellow “at the earliest”. The high court had last week observed that golden glow should remain on the Queen’s Necklace.
The high court had ordered that instead of sodium vapour lamps, the state should use yellow LED lights. EESL had informed the court that LEDs could be changed from white to yellow and there was no need of sodium vapour lamps.
A senior civic official from the commissioner’s office said, “A written directive has been issued by the commissioner to replace the lights as soon as possible. The directive was issued on Tuesday evening. The decision was taken after we received the court orders earlier in the week.”
The civic body had decided to install LED lights across the city, starting with Marine Drive, in January this year, after Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal met former Municipal Commissioner Sitaram Kunte. EESL had installed the new lights as part of the project.
According to BMC officials, it has replaced more than 160 lights on the iconic stretch in the beginning of the year. BMC had also claimed that it would save Rs 80 crore on electricity bills with the new lamps.
The project ran into controversy with the BJP and the Sena leaders fighting over the installation. Yuva Sena president Aaditya Thackeray had tweeted against the project and claimed that the BJP did not seek the Sena’s opinion over it. People had also complained that LED was not providing sufficient illumination, increasing security threat along the promenade.
A senior civic official also said that yellow LED would be dimmer than the white ones.
Mahendra Hemdev, a resident and a member of the Marine Drive Residents Association said, “We definitely welcome the decision but we also want the BMC to assess the blind spots created by the lights. Since LED saves money for the authorities, it can also be utilised for providing better illumination in other parts of the city.”