Govt sets one-year target to install LED streetlights in tier 1,2 cities in state

Despite the political controversy surrounding the installation of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) streetlights along Mumbai’s landmark Marine Drive, the Maharashtra government has set a target of one year for changing all streetlights in its tier 1 and 2 cities to LEDs.

Chandrashekhar Bawankule, state’s energy minister, said the government would send notices to all municipal corporations and councils across Maharashtra to change the streetlights in their jurisdiction to the energy-efficient LEDs from the conventional incandescent lamps.

There are 26 municipal corporations and 226 municipal councils in the state.

“We expect that changing the streetlights to LEDs will in commercial terms result in savings of about 50 per cent of the current usage. The procurement cost of a LED has also drastically reduced to about Rs 70-80 per unit. We will instruct all municipal corporations and councils in the state to install LED streetlights in the next one year,” the BJP leader said.

The BJP-led government at the Centre has been aggressively promoting LEDs for streetlights as well as for households, claiming significant energy savings. The move, however, has drawn flak from political parties in Maharashtra, including the Shiv Sena, which had in its mouthpiece Saamana alleged corruption and irregularities in the procurement of the LEDs for the Marine Drive project. The parties started protesting after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation changed streetlights on the Marine Drive boulevard to white LEDs from the yellow sodium vapour bulbs that had defined the Queen’s necklace for years.

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