Beginning next week one can see artwork displays of young city artists on the walls of the 250-meter long Metro subway near St Xavier's College in south Mumbai.
The purpose is to promote art and culture and get people to use the subway instead of jaywalking.
The subway was constructed in 2008 to divert pedestrian traffic underground. It has nine entry and exit gateways, and elevators connecting six roads including Princess Street, Girgaum and Crawford Market and a movie theatre.
However, despite being a busy junction it still remains underutilized. Yuva Sena, the youth wing of the Shiv Sena, pushed the initiative. The civic body will invite applications from budding artists to promote their work.
Yuva Sena chief, Aditya Thackeray who had written to civic officials a fortnight ago said, "We wrote to the BMC saying the subway walls were spoilt and covered with spit. Since there is a dearth of spaces to display the work of young and budding artists, we thought using the area as a creative outlet will serve both purposes."
Accordingly, the BMC has set up a mechanism.
"We have already got a team of officers who will be accepting applications from new artists. However, we have approached the JJ School of Arts to put up their art work for the first week," said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee.
He added that seeing the number of artists that display their works on footpaths outside art galleries like Jehangir Art Gallery, such display areas were the need of the day.
Earlier in 2009, the civic body had initiated the concept of an art gallery in the Metro subway and it had planned to invite private companies to take charge of the maintenance, however the project never took off.