In a first, Maharashtra government acts against light pollution; asks Wilson Gymkhana to remove floodlights

The Mumbai city district collector has asked Wilson Gymkhana on Marine Drive to take down the floodlights on its premises, marking the first such action taken by the government against light pollution in Mumbai.

Light pollution is the term used to describe excessive or obtrusive man-made light. In extreme cases, long-term exposure to excessive light could cause hallucinations, sleep disorders, and even lead to psychiatric problems.

The government said it issued the order as the gymkhana had not taken permissions to use the floodlights. and their high intensity could cause harm to the residents. The district administration’s decision to issue the order last week comes almost two years after light pollution complaints were raised by Chira Bazaar resident, Nilesh Desai. HT has a copy of the order.

The collector told HT the government will take action against the gymkhana if the lights are not removed within a month. HT first reported about the complaints against the lights more than year ago.

“We have been following up on the issue, based on complaints, for almost eight months,” said Shivaji Jondale, Mumbai city collector. “We held several meetings with the gymkhana, but they failed to clarify their stand. We then sent a team to check the status of these lights, and found they were high-intensity ones, the glare from which could cause harm.”

Jondale added that Wilson Gymkhana did not have the necessary permissions from the civic body or the collector’s office to erect floodlights. Wilson Gymkhana members, however, said they had approached all departments to get permissions. “We did not get the permissions, even after we applied for it,” said Amin Pawar, senior manager, Wilson Gymkhana. The gymkhana will fight the order, Pawar said.

First Published: Nov 12, 2018 14:25 IST

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