Srinagar: An effort by the authorities to make Srinagar city look beautiful by painting different cultural themes on the piers of the newly constructed flyover at Jehangir Chowk has been spoiled by water leaking down the flyover joints over the art work.
The authorities have now decided to stop painting the pillars after wasting lakhs of rupees.
Rain water and melting snow has seeped through the gaps of the flyover to spoil the hard work of the artists who spent days decorating the pillars.
A group of artists from Srinagar painted these pillars to depict the beauty of the valley with different themes, like snow on the heights of Gulmarg and lush paddy fields in the plains.
Gulzar Ahmad, a shopkeeper at Jahangir Chowk, said, “Some days ago they painted a pillar in front of my shop. When the snow fell, the paintings were ruined due to the muddy melted water which seeped through from the gaps. Using paint in winters is not a good idea, I think. The authorities have wasted the money of people. It would have been better if they had first filled the gaps before painting on the pillars.”
He added, “Not only leakage of water ruined these paintings but also the dust off the roads.”
One of the artists who painted the pillars said, “Yes, the leakage of water has ruined the paintings, but what can we do? Our job was to decorate these pillars. It was also hard for us to paint the pillars in this harsh winter. We tried our best to depict different themes like skiing, Mughal Gardens, etc, which convey the rich culture and beauty of the valley, but when we see our hard work destroyed, we feel disappointed.”
Rs 11 lakh were sanctioned for making these paintings. The Roads and Buildings (R&B) department started on work in September 2020, under the Smart City Srinagar project. Now, after the paintings have been damaged, the department has stopped the work.
Officials of the R&B department told Kashmir Reader that the work has been stopped for the time being only. “We will first plug the leakage of water and then we will restart work and also renovate the affected paintings,” an official said.