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SGPC initiates cleanliness drive from Golden Temple Galliara

Poor maintenance of Golden Temple surroundings worries Sikh apex body

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Tribune News Service

GS Paul

Amritsar, September 11

Dejected by the government’s apathetic attitude towards the poor maintenance of surroundings of the Golden Temple, including the Galliara, the Heritage Street and the passages leading to the shrine, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has announced to launch a cleanliness campaign on its own.

In the first phase, the SGPC has already deputed a team of six ‘safai karamcharis’ who have started the cleanliness drive from Galliara (corridor) around the Golden Temple

The present condition is that due to lack of maintenance, piles of garbage can be seen there and in the absence of checks, anti-social elements loiter around.

Golden Temple manager Bhagwant Singh confirmed that besides sanitation, the green belt in the Galliara would be maintained and CCTV cameras would also be installed for surveillance in the next step.

The Galliara (corridor) has become an eyesore because of its poor maintenance. Conceptualised under the Golden Temple beautification plan, it was the brainchild of the Central Government in June 1988. The objective was to remove all narrow lanes and bazaars, which proved to be a hindrance for the security forces during the Operation Blue Star and make it a leisure place for the visitors. However, the upkeep was the responsibility of the state government.

The situation was no different at the iconic Heritage Street too. During the SAD-BJP regime, Rs 350-400 crore was spent on the Heritage Street project and dedicated staff was hired through a firm in 2016 for its care and maintenance. The SAD-BJP had also spared a separate corpus fund of Rs 50 crore for the purpose then. With the change of command, the Congress regime failed to maintain it. The services of the company were also terminated in 2019.

Accusing the Punjab government of having failed to maintain cleanliness, the SGPC had earlier sought the control of Galliara and Heritage Street, but in vain.

SGPC president Harjinder Singh Dhami said, “What impression would the global visitors take along when they visit the Golden Temple while negotiating the passages with heaps of stinking garbage and encroachments?”

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#Darbar Sahib Amritsar #Golden Temple Amritsar #SGPC #Sikhs

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