Amritsar, Punjab: Come Diwali and those visiting the Golden Temple will get a respite from congestion around the shrine with the completion of the prestigious Golden Temple Entrance Plaza project.
Marble work at the plaza is underway on a war footing. At present the agency involved in the work is focusing on preparing the open area by Diwali, the deadline set by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is personally monitoring the project. Work on the basement will follow later.
The marble flooring on 80,000 sq ft will be completed by November. Makrana marble, known to be one of the finest varieties, is being used for the plaza. The sprawling open space at the gurdwara entrance will have ornamental plants, benches and lights for the visitors.
However, the proposal to install a radiant cooling system has been dropped with doubts expressed over its feasibility in such a vast area. The system would have kept the marble flooring warm in the winters and cold in the summers, enabling devotees to walk barefoot without any discomfort.
The only constructed area on the ground will be that of “jora ghar” (area where shoes are kept). Most of the facilities will be in the basement, work on which will take another six months or so.
Among the underground facilities will be a state-of-the-art interpretation and information centre for tourists, VIP lounge, bank, ATM, airlines and railway inquiry, multipurpose hall, security and services area, toilets and other public conveniences.
As there is a lot of VVIP movement at the Golden Temple, the plaza will have a separate lounge to accommodate dignitaries and their entourage. There will be an auditorium with a seating capacity for 100-150 persons.
The holy shrine is visited by thousands of devotees from across the globe everyday and their number crosses the one lakh mark on special occasions like Gurpurb.
The work on the plaza was started in May 2011.
Source: The Tribune