Paint, labour costs stall murals on City walls

Eyesore: Posters on the wall of a flyover. DH photos

Fading and peeling paint has taken the sheen off the Karnataka history displayed on the walls flanking the streets of the City.

The much-appreciated wall painting, part of the beautification drive taken up by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike two years ago, has now been stopped.

Reason: Rising cost of paint and higher remuneration demanded by artists.
According to BBMP officials, the drive, which was taken up during the time of former commissioner Bharath Lal Meena, was stopped due to escalating cost of the paint.

The BBMP sought additional funds for continuing the work, but no money was forthcoming in the next two budgets.

“We had to discontinue the drive as the quotations given by the artists were high,” said a BBMP officer.

As a result, defacement of walls has once again raised its ugly head. With the murals fading, the walls are being pasted with posters publicising political events, local leaders, release of Kannada movies, apart from advertisements for local entrepreneurs.

Corporators’ support

To an extent, defacing of public walls has been ‘backed’ and  ‘encouraged’ by the local corporators, said sources in Palike. 

“The corporators, in a way, are trying to block any move made by the administration to rid the walls of posters. Earlier, during the administrative rule, it was possible to intensify the drive to remove the posters and banners. Now, corporators are creating an obstacle for our drives,” said a BBMP source.

Tender

However, BBMP has now finalised a tender for the wall paintings by asking for Expression of Interest from groups of artists who wish to apply for the contract.

 “We are hopeful that the quotations will be finalised by the end of this week. We will invite tenders in the next few days,” said the Palike official.

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