Mumbai’s Minara Masjid goes green, not just in colour

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Mumbai’s iconic Minara Masjid, which is usually bedecked in bright green lights during the Ramzan and Eid festivities, is all set to go greener. Trustees of the mosque have installed a 15 KWP solar power plant on its terrace, which is expected to help them save electricity and reduce the bill by at least Rs 3.5 lakh per year.

During the month of Ramzan alone, the mosque, which sees thousands of visitors from all over the city, generates a bill of Rs 1 lakh. At present, the mosque consumes 35 KW electricity annually. With the 15 KW solar plant, the electricity consumption will drop by 40 per cent.

Abdul Wahab, a trustee of the Minara Masjid Trust, who is also the man behind the initiative, said, “We are hopeful that our efforts will help contribute towards a greener society. When everyone is making an effort, why should religious shrines stay behind?”

According to Wahab, the trust researched about various green technologies, before installing the panels, which cost them Rs 14 lakh.

“It’s the most recent and efficient German Technology and hence, we have no doubt that the mosque is in good hands,” Wahab said, adding, “It is different from the usual solar panels that you see. It has a ‘metering’ system, instead of a battery.

Under the metering system, the power generated during the peak hours of the day, if not consumed will be stored in the grid and monitored by a meter.” The 15 KWP Solar Unit installed by a Bandra-based company Green Power is expected to generate 22,500 KW of electricity annually for 25 years.

Trust manager Sufiyaan, who has been closely monitoring the project, said, “Setting up the panel has been a real task. We wanted to be 100 per cent sure about everything because it’s a religious place.”

“We are taking a step in the right direction. It’s just been two days since we installed the panels, and we are already getting calls from other shri­nes, trusts and associations. Hopefully, more people will know about this and adapt accordingly,” said Wahab.

When contacted, Sohail Sheikh, head of Green Power Pvt Ltd, said, “Until now, we haven’t seen religious shrines take interest in green projects. However, after we installed the solar panels at Minara Masjid, we have been getting orders from Haji Ali, and ISCKON temple.”

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