Mumbai is the city of inequalities. While this tag immediately conjures up the contrast between the rich and the poor, the civic body has added a new dimension to this show of disparity – in terms of lighting.
The roads outside the residences of the BMC commissioner and the mayor are illuminated two to three times than what is required, while majority of the areas in the city are poorly lit. The issue came to light after Ameet Satam, BJP corporator from Andheri and ward council chairman from K-east and K-west ward, presented a survey report to civic chief Sitaram Kunte.
Under the survey, 107 roads across the city and suburbs were randomly chosen by city planner P K Das and international lighting expert Prof Abhay Karandikar to check the extent of lighting. The report, Advance City Lighting, has been endorsed by Prof B G Fernandes from the department of electrical engineering of IIT-Bombay.
The level of lighting, in terms of lux, around Kunte's residence was found to be 12.9 as against the required figure of 4. However, the busy Amar Mahal junction on the Eastern Expressway was 50 per cent less than the desired lux level of 15.
Despite repeated attempts and text message, Kunte did not respond. Sources from his office claimed the civic chief had personally called up S V R Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner and asked him to look into the matter.
Satam had recently gone on a seven-day hunger strike in his ward to highlight the issue. He said Mumbai is a city that never sleeps and letting the metropolis plunge into darkness is a crime that the civic body is committing.
"The survey was conducted by an international lighting expert. Barring three to four roads, all the roads surveyed were found to be poorly lit. We have demanded that the city be illuminated well and decoratively so that it becomes safe, bright and beautiful," said Satam.
Dilip Patel, BJP leader in the BMC said that the corporation should take the issue seriously and set new standards for street lights. "We need lights similar in quality to those used in the new T2 terminal of the airport by MMRDA," said Patel.
In poor light
15% street lights not working
Distance between two poles are not same everywhere
Height of street light pole should be proportionate to the width of the roads
Over 20% lights hidden by tree branches
The dark truth
Road Reqd lux level Present lux level
BMC chief's bungalow 4 12.9
Mayor bungalow 15 32.51
Police HQ, Colaba 7 5.5
Marine Drive 30 22
Worli seaface 30 19
Pochkhanwala Road 15 4.5
Taj Hotel Lane 15 12.5
Amar Mahal junction 15 7.5
LBS Marg 15 4.5
and parameters like lux level, photometry, quality of bulbs and reflectory mechanism were checked