Construction in front of Sri Harmandir Sahib is causing public nuisance

Amritsar, Punjab: After starting off at a snail’s pace, work on the prestigious Golden Temple Entrance Plaza is still very slow. Only one-third of the underground structure has been raised and they may not meet the finishing deadline.

Public Works Department executive engineer Jasbir Singh Sodhi said they had raised the basic structure on 2,500 square metres. The total project area was 8,200 square metres. He said the remaining area would be covered by the year-end.

The area where construction is underway is right in front of the main entrance of the Golden Temple. Earlier, the area had a green belt, which was developed after shifting the Ghanta Ghar Market. As the project proceeds, the area will be integrated with the space in front of the SGPC’s information office and the road that separates the two parts will be eliminated.

Sodhi said he was confident that they would be able to meet the Diwali 2013 deadline for completing the project. Work on the project started in May last year. It took the agencies almost four months to complete pre-construction activities, like shifting of cables and water and sewerage lines.

Among the underground facilities at the plaza will be a state-of-the-art interpretation and information centre for tourists, a VIP lounge, a bank, an ATM, an airlines/railway inquiry counter, a multipurpose hall, toilets and other public conveniences. The ‘jora ghar’ and shops will be at the ground level.

The plaza will have a green cover on one-third of its 1.75 acres to facilitate devotees in the hot summer months. The plaza’s flooring will have a radiant cooling and heating system so that the devotees can walk barefoot without any discomfort during extreme weather conditions.

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