Protecting the eco-system with special lighting

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07 May 2019

Among the many ‘marine ecosystem and migratory bird friendly’ measures adopted at the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link project site is a special lighting system that causes minimal disturbance to birds & marine life, designed in consultation with an ornithologist.

With the construction of the Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) (Package 1) in full swing at Sewri, Mumbai, L&T Construction has had to build a 2.9 km temporary access bridge for movement of men, material and machinery to construct the first 10 km of the link. This temporary access bridge into the sea passes through the ecologically sensitive Sewri mudflats and therefore the onus on our team was to evolve measures that would not adversely impact the ecological balance of the area. 

The mangrove cover of the area has an aquatic ecosystem that is home to several migratory birds like flamingos, black-headed ibis, painted storks, grey and black egrets, great egrets and Indian pond herons. Marine creatures found here include snails, squids, shells, mollusca, prawns, amphipods, shrimps, fish larvae, crabs, worms, etc.

The birds and the aquatic life in these mudflats are both attracted and distracted by light, so we had to be extra careful to develop and install lighting systems that did not harm them in any way.

The project team consulted an Ornithologist from Mumbai and with his guidance designed and installed a lighting system with warm white colour lights in the range of 3000 kelvin temperature, which is considered ideal for the purpose being neither too harsh nor too low to be efficient. The light poles are so positioned and the lamps so angled that the light falls only on the temporary access bridge and not onto the water. These eco-friendly LED lights have an average surface illuminance of 30 lux.

Thanks to this initiative, even as work continues at the MTHL project site, the birds and the aquatic creatures of the Sewri mudflats peacefully co-exist undisturbed by the light, movement and noise of the site.

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