Disaster of an art gallery

Awareness of disaster management through displays and quizzes on BMC’s agenda in new plan to launch a disaster art gallery

The BMC has initiated processes for the development of a Disaster Art Gallery that will be a part of the proposed City Institute of Disaster Management (CIDM) in Parel, and will showcase the social and technological history of a disaster, preventive measures through 2D displays, 3D interactive working models, touch-screen kiosks, quizzes, and text materials.

After the July 2006 deluge, the BMC had planned the CIDM along with other disaster management measures. But plans got marred since the handover of the building in Parel by the concerned builder took long. Procuring apparatus and zeroing in on faculty also caused a delay. Civic officials are confident that the institute will be inaugurated this year. The BMC has invited an ‘Expression of Interest’ from developers for the art gallery. The content is supposed to be Mumbai-centric. The contractor firm will also have to develop 3D films on topics such as floods, earthquakes, Tsunami and fire for the viewing of visitors. Together, these will provide the geological information of a disaster, the physical impact on nature, surroundings and human habitats, impact on ecology, causes behind disasters, case studies, mitigation measures and prevention. It is hoped that visitors will go away with a set of Dos and Don’ts in times of a crisis.

“The objective of the gallery is to create awareness among people," said a senior official from the disaster management department. The BMC has spent more than Rs 3 crore in developing CIDM.

The fraternity reacts
Tasneem Mehta, honorary director, Dr Bhau Daji Lad museum, said, “Why put up this innovative ‘gallery’ in a place where people will have to go out of the way to visit? It should ideally be set up near say, CST, easily accessible to thousands. The space needs to be used effectively and made more artistically relevant.” Mehta also added that using the word ‘art gallery’ would be inaccurate since the proposal appears to be more of an information kiosk or centre.

— With inputs by Apoorva Puranik

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