Gurdwara gets nod for facelift

Grateful: Baldev Singh (second from right) and members of his committee thanking Mohamad for approving their request to use a parcel of government land adjacent to their premises for religious activities.

SIKHS can now proceed with plans to renovate an 80-year-old gurdwarain Port Dickson following a move by the state government to gazette a plot of land adjacent to the current site.

The good news was conveyed to the community when Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan visited the gurdwara management recently.

“The state exco recently approved an application by the gurdwara to use the 7,000 sq foot area located next to its premises.

“We hope this will allow the community to go ahead with their renovation plans,” he said, adding that Sikhs should, however, use the land strictly for religious-related purposes.

Mohamad said the state authorities will also look into complaints of a clogged monsoon drain filled with brackish water behind the premises.

It is understood that the water cannot flow out to sea as the gurdwara is on lower ground than sea reclamation work carried out more than two decades ago.

This has caused waste water from surrounding areas to flow towards thegurdwara and stagnate there.

During the dry season, the stench becomes unbearable and thegurdwara had also been flooded on several occasions following heavy rain.

“We will ask engineers from the Public Works and Drainage and Irrigation departments to look into the matter.

“We will definitely help the community overcome the problem,” Mohamad said.

Mohamad added that the state government had decided to gazette all places of worship including mosques, surau, churches, Hindu temples and tokong under a new policy.

“We do not want these places to be built haphazardly. By gazetting such parcels of land, the managements can continue with their religious activities without any worries,” he said.

Mohamad also spent time talking to members of the congregation during his visit.

Gurdwara president Baldev Singh thanked the state government for allowing the management to build a new access road to the gurdwara.

“Several of our members have been involved in accidents previously as the old gate was too close to the main road,” he said, adding that the government had also helped fund the construction of a bridge to thegurdwara.

Baldev said gurdwara, which was the only one serving the community in the resort town, was in dire need of repairs.

He said the Sikhs had held back plans to renovate the gurdwara until they had received the green light from the authorities.

Baldev also asked Mohamad to assist the community in building a proper crematorium to allow them to perform final rites for their dead.

According to him, they now had to go all the way to Seremban, some 40km away, to do so.

Mohamad said the state government would look into it and had already gazetted a site in Sua Betong for the purpose.

Source:The Star Online

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