Water, epoxy harming Darbar Sahib, Baba Atal

‘‘I must say that t portions are in good state and do not need conservation, but there are some aspects which need to be taken care of immediately,” Tandon said. He cited the practice of washing the floor of Gurdwara Baba Atal with water drawn from the borewell. ‘‘The Punjab Pollution Control Board has analysed the water and found that the total amount of dissolved solids is very high,” Tandon said. It is better to replace it with clean water that is devoid of such elements. ‘‘One portion of marble at Gurdwara Baba Atal has already turned red, though only the top two millimetres is affected,” he added. Geological examination has revealed the presence of pyrites that easily get oxidised.

Tandon added that they were allowed to take only one sample from the complex, and hence a definite conclusion would need more investigation. ‘‘But something is happening. At the Darbar Sahib, the marble is more coloured, perhaps due sulphate’s presence… it could be due to the cement,” he added. ‘‘The top roof has an epoxy covering, which was added much later,” Tandon said, claiming that the epoxy covering was not a part of the original design and was causing more harm than good. It does not allow water to rise, thus affecting the brick and lime structure. “Due to the force of gravity, water will gradually come down,” he said, adding, “It should be kept in mind that the Darbar Sahib complex has some 20-21-feet water.”

Tandon is in Chandigarh to participate in the two-day conclave ‘Towards a Cultural Management Initiative for Punjab’, being organised by the Smithsonian Institute and the Anandpur Sahib Foundation.

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