Amritsar, Punjab: To cope with the ever increasing rush of devotees at the Golden Temple, the SGPC has embarked on an expansion and modernisation plan for the langar facility, which at present can accommodate 5,000 pilgrims at a time.
As part of the project, the SGPC has raised another multi-storey building adjacent to the existing langar facility. Sources in the SGPC said around 80 per cent work on the new structure had been completed. Once the project is complete, the langar facility’s seating capacity will increase by 30 per cent. The new building will be equipped with ACs.
The new building comprises four floors, including the basement. The sources said the basement would be utilised for the storage of rations and the ground floor for the dish washing facility. The first floor of the building would be interconnected with the first floor of the existing langar hall building so as to expand the area for accommodating more pilgrims. The second floor of the building would be used for vegetable cutting and washing etc.
The SGPC is also modernising the kitchen at the langar facility which will have facilities such as air-conditioning. It will be equipped with gas pipeline and safety features like fire extinguishers. The existing langar hall building was constructed by Baba Kharak Singh Karsewawale in 1979-80.
The new building will be clubbed with the existing one to form an integrated langar facility at the Golden Temple complex.
Though the shrine witnesses long queues of devotees round the year, their number goes up significantly during winter and summer vacations. The number of people partaking of langar at the shrine these days has gone up to around 70,000 daily. Consequently, the quantity of eatables being consumed at Sri Guru Ramdas Langar Hall has also gone up considerably.
According to the SGPC, around 65 to 70 quintals of wheat flour, 18 quintals of daal, 16 quintals of vegetables, 10 quintals of rice, 5,000 litres of milk, and 10 quintals of sugar are used daily at the shrine’s langar facility which is open round the clock.
However on weekends, 85 to 90 quintals of wheat flour, around 22 quintals of daal and 18 quintals of vegetables are cooked for the pilgrims.
The SGPC needs around 5,000 LPG cylinders every month to keep the langar facility functional 24 hours a day. The langar facility also boasts of an automatic chapatti-making machine which the SGPC had imported from Lebanon in 2003 for Rs 60 lakh. The machine can make and process 2,000 to 6,000 chapattis in an hour, depending on the need. Though the SGPC has recruited staff for cooking meals, a number of volunteers also take part in the process. Besides, scores of devotees perform sewa in the dish washing area of the facility.
* The new building comprises four floors, including the basement, which will be utilised for storage of rations
* The ground floor will be used for dish washing, the first floor would be interconnected with the existing langar hall and the second floor will be used for vegetable cutting and washing
* The SGPC is also modernising the kitchen which will have facilities such as air-conditioning, piped gas etc
* SGPC sources said around 65 to 70 quintals of wheat flour, 18 quintals of daal, 16 quintals of vegetables, 10 quintals of rice, 5,000 litres of milk, and 10 quintals of sugar are being used daily these days at the shrine’s langar facility which is open round the clock
* The consumption goes up significantly during weekends
* The SGPC needs around 5,000 LPG cylinders every month to keep the langar facility functional 24 hours a day
Source: The Tribune