When daily drudgery gets to you, seek recourse in art — that seems to be the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) new mantra. In a bid to motivate people to use underpasses and foot overbridges (FOBs), spaces that the civic body has painstakingly provided, PMC has decided to turn these into art galleries.
This innovative programme would be kicked off on a pilot basis from the underpass at Jangli Maharaj (JM) Road near Morden School. It will be part of the Pune Biennale — which will be held from January 5 to 29, 2017 — a month-long celebration of art, architecture and design. It will have seven major shows, including the flagship exhibition, ‘Habit-co-Habit’, which will have PMC attempting this move. Municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar said, “PMC has picked around 20 such places to run this project in different parts of the city. We will convert these into art spaces in phases. The purpose is to provide a platform to artists and increase the footfall at these facilities. The administration will make efforts to increase the cleanliness, security and upkeep of these facilities.”
Shriniwas Bonala, PMC’s additional city engineer (traffic planner department), added, “There are more than 20 underpasses and FOBs in the city. People don’t use them frequently as they are dirty most of the time. This is an initiative to make these areas pleasant and pedestrian-friendly, so that more and more people can use it regularly. This is not a permanent art gallery concept. People can draw on the walls and put up their art.”