Jammu: Eye-catching wall paintings depicting rich culture and heritage have come up in the winter capital as the administration is busy sprucing up the city ahead of ‘Darbar Move’.
‘Darbar Move’ is the 146-year-old practice of bi-annual shifting of the state capital between Jammu and Srinagar.
The wall painting is part of the beautification project being undertaken by the divisional administration to welcome the state government which is scheduled to start functioning from here for six months on November 5.
The Civil Secretariat — seat of Jammu and Kashmir government, Raj Bhavan and other major offices — was closed in the summer capital, Srinagar, on October 26.
The ‘Darbar Move’ was started by the then Maharaja Gulab Singh in 1872 to escape the extreme heat during summers in Jammu and biting cold of winters in Srinagar.
The practice was continued by elected governments post-independence to provide governance benefits — by turns– to both Kashmir and Jammu regions of the state for six months.
Besides the wall painting, many works like repair and black topping of roads, marking of yellow and white lines on the signals, plantation on dividers, cutting of ornamental plants on dividers to enhance the beauty and branch cutting alongside the roads was in progress, officials said.
They said flower decor and installation of flower pots on bridges and various designated places and repair of defunct lights on flyovers and roads was also going on.
Apart from the beautification works in the city, the departments concerned have engaged a large number of labourers to remove the dust and filth on the sides of the city roads, while the official residences of bureaucrats and residential quarters of move employees are also being renovated, the officials said.
A brainchild of the Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), the wall painting in the city was started in May under the Corporate Social Responsibility with a wide range of themes and the paintings have already received wide acclaim, Secretary JMC and Nodal Officer of the project Sunaina Sharma said.
She said the work is in full swing and most of the walls have been painted depicting rich culture and heritage, giving a colourful look to the city.
Lauding the efforts of the artists, especially students of the Institute of Music and Fine Arts, Sharma said everyone from corporate houses to government departments are coming forward and linking with the mission to make the city beautiful.
Divisional commissioner, Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, along with Deputy Commissioner Ramesh Kumar and JMC Commissioner Arvind Kotwal, have shown personal interest and are monitoring the artworks themselves and guiding the field staff, she said.
Referring to the painting work done by students at Rajinder Chowk near the civil secretariat, she said it is a visual treat of artwork.
The students have turned the side wall of the road into a canvass to paint Maharaja’s darbar and Samba and Reasi forts.
“People are enjoying our work and are taking pictures and selfies. The paintings are catching the eyes of the commuters,” said Ajay Kumar, a final year student at the Institute of Music and Fine Arts.
It took almost a fortnight to Kumar and over a dozen students, including girls, to complete the assigned task.
“People appreciated their work by providing them snacks, tea and even money as a token of admiration,” Sharma said.