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Message started by Admin on 28. Mar 2007 at 14:44
Title: Galiara Scheme - Sri Harmandir Sahib
Post by Admin on 28. Mar 2007 at 14:44
Amritsar Vikas Manch has strongly demanded the immediate demolition of the multistory commercial complex of 160 shops in front of the holiest of the holy shrine of the Sikhs, Sri Harmandir Sahib in blatant violation of the Galiara scheme. It also demanded a high level enquiry under which circumstances the huge complex came up illegally just 50-meters from Sri Harmandir Sahib. In different letters to S.Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister Punjab and Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Manch president S.Harbhajan Singh Gill has said that it is a calculated move and a big blunder committed by the congress government to raise multistory commercial complex in front of Sri Harmandir Sahib to deface and diminish the dignity of the holiest of holy shrine of the Sikhs.
It is similar in nature with the blunder committed by Mayawati government in the case of commercialization of the area around the Taj Mahal. A similar type of case should be registered against the culprits.
Sri Harmandir Sahib has great Heritage value not for the Sikhs only but for the whole world. This is proved by a BBC survey, which placed Sri Harmandir Sahib at the sixth position among the 50 most sought after destinations of the world. The enlistment of it as a World Heritage Site may be deferred for the time being, but it will revive again in the near future. Sri Harmandir Sahib attracts 75-80lakh foreign as well as domestic tourists annually.
If it had come in the world Heritage Sites, no new construction could have been raised in the radius of 1000 meters. This huge commercial complex has badly affected the majestic look of Sri Harmandir Sahib Complex and it is a great insult to the holiest of holy shrine of the Siklhs
The purpose of the Galiara Scheme was to decongest and beautify the area around the Golden Temple. The very purpose of the scheme stands defeated with the construction of this huge commercial complex. In three phases, many buildings were demolished and beautiful gardens came up. But surprisingly, at the main entry to the shrine, the most important part of this scheme, a huge super structure has been raised. This is a clear cut case of misappropriation of Public Money. The central government funds meant for the purpose of beautifying the area was misused for the construction of commercial complex.
The authorities constructed 160 shops without reason and without any legal authority. There was no compulsion by any law to construct these shops for the uprooted shopkeepers in front of the Golden Temple. Even the number of the shops to be demolished is not more than 40-45. They can be adjusted any where else as was the case with the uprooted shopkeepers in the first three phases. They were given shops outside the walled city.
The previous government commercialized the area in front of the Golden Temple instead of making it calm, serene, peaceful and beautiful. The construction of this building will make this area more polluted by air and noise pollution as it will invite more vehicles, as the commercial activity in this building alone will bring more than 300-400 cars/scooters daily. The Punjab Pollution Control Board has in its recent survey has found the area in front of the Golden Temple most polluted and expressed concern over the increasing level of pollution due to vehicles etc. The new building will also create problems in the sewerage system of the area as well.
The SGPC has also raised objections to the construction of this building by writing to the then Chief Minister. The building has made this area more congested instead of decongesting, which will affect the free flow of thousands of visitors who come here daily. It will rather create inconvenience and harassment to the visitors
Dr. Charanjit Singh Gumtala Ph.D.
Amritsar Vikas Manch,
253 Ajit Nagar, Amritsar, Punjab
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