Jaipur’s famous sculptors may have to move out


Jaipur : The sculptors of Jaipur's prized statues and artworks may soon have to move out of the walled city area as civic authorities have found the decibel level around their workshops much higher than the permitted level thus creating noise pollution.

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The Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) has started a survey of the cottage industry after a pollution control board report found that the noise in the area was almost double of the norm due to hammering, cutting, engraving and polishing works.

The pollution level in the area was over 95 decimals against the norm of 55 decimals.

Sculpting activities have also increased the air pollution in the area.

Jaipur, especially its walled city area, is a major centre for idol makers. There are over 500 units, with an estimated annual turnover of Rs.2.5 billion (about $61 million), in the area providing employment to about 5,000 people.

"Shifting is a long process. Once the survey is completed we would talk to the sculptors' union. A decision would be taken considering the interests of the artists," Jaipur mayor Ashok Parnami told IANS.

Civic authorities were looking at options outside the city for the shifting.

But the sculptors fear that the shifting would ruin their trade and the age-old art of Jaipur would not survive in any other place.

"This is a traditional trade. It would die in another place," said Arjun Prajapati, a sculptor.

P.N. Sharma, another sculptor here, explained: "Tourists and buyers visit us here very easily. But if we are shifted, we might lose our business as tourists would not like to travel to some far-off place."