Mumbai: In what could exacerbate the tension between Shiv Sena and BJP, the ruling allies in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said "vested interests" were running a campaign against the LED lights project.
"Vested interests are running a motivated and a malafide campaign to deny benefits of superior lighting at much lower cost to the city of Mumbai. Mumbai and Maharashtra's progress through a collaborative and transparent process will not be derailed at all by unfounded allegations," Fadnavis tweeted.
An article written by Sena spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut in the party' mouthpiece 'Saamana' yesterday had objected to the BJP-backed plan to install LED lights in the city.
"The business of installing LED lights in the country is worth Rs 25,000-30,000 crore" and if a probe was ordered, "at least two (BJP) ministers will lose the beacons on their vehicles," Raut said.
Without referring to the article, Fadnavis today said that "all LED procurement is being done collaboratively and transparently using e-bidding just like the enormously successful coal auctions".
"Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is a Government Company formed by four Maharatna PSUs - NTPC, PFC, REC and Power Grid Corporation", he noted, adding that it was technically and financially strong, and will help the state save time, maintain quality and reduce the project cost.
Raut's article had questioned the company's credentials.
"Mumbai can save Rs 80 crore every year by using LED streetlights," Fadnavis said, adding that power saving through the LED streetlights will help the state provide cheaper power to farmers and backward areas.
Recently, Shiv Sena had criticised BJP for backing the opposition NCP in it's bid to oust the Legislative Council chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh, a Congressman.