SGPC Plans to concrete over the Guru ka Bagh

Concreting History in the name of progress : An expert opinion

By Gurmeet Rai

The proposed ‘hi tech museum for Sikh history’ reported today in the Tribune would distract from the principal focus of the site which is sanctum sanctorum. As reported in the Tribune (15th Feb 2006) this building is proposed next to the langar complex which probably would be the open space in between the langar building and the Diwan hall. It is important to recognise that this open space was the ‘Guru Ka Bagh’ a site which was possibly a garden in which Guru Arjan dev is known to have composed the ‘Barah mah’ (a small shrine is located in this garden space, next to the Diwan hall marking the site). It is important for the SGPC to recognise that through the Banis we realise the close association and fondness the Gurus had for nature (t beautifully communicated in Sri Guru Granth Sahib), Darbar Sahib today needs a concerted effort by the site managers to introduce much greenery with the kind of plantation/ tree species that is mentioned in the Banis of the Gurus in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the t appropriate place would be the Guru Ka bagh.

Any further construction activity should be completely banned in the site and recognising the expanding needs of the pilgrims and visitors coupled with modern day needs the SGPC should seriously consider acquiring  a complex of maybe a 100 acres (the land may already exist as part of the endowments to Darbar Sahib) which should house all the additional infrastructure needs including, administrative blocks, staff quarters, parking and lodging facility for the variety of needs of the pilgrims and museums and educational institutions. Sri Harimandir Sahib complex has been saturated with much construction activity in the recent past and has gone far beyond the optimum threshold and capacity to accommodate more building activity. This can be experienced on various levels such as water needs, waste management, noise pollution etc.

This proposed museum as well as the proposed administrative block adjacent to the Guru Hargobind Niwas should not be built.

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