Air Conditioner plans for Golden Temple

The first two are a security requirement for the entire complex and meet everyone's approval, but the ACs are meant for Golden Temple.

A SGPC sub-committee which met at Chandigarh on Thursday to deliberate on the issue, took technical details from a representative of a company to determine whether the move would cause any long-lasting damage to the nearly 400-year-old building that has born the brunt of restoration efforts by those who have scant idea of either heritage or means of conservation.

The fears of those resisting the AC installation move were confirmed when the representative of the company told members that this would require at least "boring a minimum 4" hole in the wall for the wiring."

The matter has now been referred to design consultants, sources said. Chairman of the committee Raghujit Singh Virk, however, told TOI: "We haven't taken a decision, deliberations are still on."

The move, it is learnt, was initiated about an year back, after a political VVIP started visiting the Darbar Sahib once a month.

Some of the ragijathas are also learnt to have complained of the tremendous humidity inside the shrine, especially during afternoon hours.

SGPC president Avtar Singh was asked to explore the possibility of installing ACs, but some of the members are learnt to have expressed dissent saying it was technically not feasible without causing damage to the historical building

Gurmeet Rai, conservation architect and director, CRCI, while strongly opposing the proposed move said such attempts would cause colossal 'structural damage' to the ancient holy structure. Instead, the SGPC should improve the electrical infrastructure since big holes had been made in the building after laying cable for the live coverage of kirtan. She said the devotees visited the Darbar Sahib for spiritual solace and not for physical comforts and, hence, they (devotees) had never made any such demand till date.

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