Golden Temple faces serious threat from air pollution in Amritsar

The concentration of sulphur dioxide  gases varies from 10 to 19 microgram per cubic meter, which is well within the permissible limit of 30 microgram per cubic meter, informed officials.

However, the concentration of Nitrogen Oxide various from 28 to 46 microgram per cubic meter, which is beyond the permissible limit of 30 microgram per cubic meter, informed Deputy Commissioner Amritsar K.S. Pannu.

K.S. Pannu, has said that  he has called upon a meeting of the officers of District Amritsar to discuss the report and has come out with concrete measures to control Air Pollution around the complex of Golden Temple.

Pannu said that various measures have been decided to be taken to control air pollution around Golden Temple.

The Diesel oil fired furnace installed with the machine for preparation of chapattis/ Parshadas shall be removed and as per the version of Dilbag Singh, Secretary, S. G.P.C, (Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee)  the use of diesel oil fired furnace has already been stopped for further conversion into electric furnace.  For wood fired furnace installed for manual preparation of chapattis/Parshadas, SGPC has agreed to put up Air Pollution Control Device to minimize the emission, said K.S. Pannu.

Adding further Pannu said that Diesel driven Auto Rickshaws have been found to be major culprits for causing air pollution around Golden Temple. Therefore, two pronged strategies have been decided to be adopted.

It has been observed that tree plantation around Golden Temple shall go long way in improving the Ambient Air Quality around Golden Temple, informed Pannu.

The Divisional Forest Officer, Amritsar has assured that 5000 trees will be planted during the month of July- August of this year around the Golden Temple. The Deputy Commissioner has  also directed the Horticulture wing  of  Municipal Corporation, Amritsar to  undertake plantation of trees around  Golden  Temple Complex. It has been decided to rope in NGO, also to plant maximum number of trees in Amritsar City.

The Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar Pannu has informed that directions have been issued to the authorities of Municipal Corporation, Amritsar to check and restrict the height of Building/ Hotel coming up in the vicinity of Golden Temple and hotels have been directed to installed chimneys in their kitchens having adequate filter system and appropriate height.

Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar has also decided that Punjab Pollution Control Board would carry out Air Pollution level studies on quarterly basis.

It may be mentioned here that earlier SGPC authority has said that The 17th century Golden Temple, which is the holiest shrine of Sikhism and a magnificent monument, is gradually losing its shine on the layers of pure gold that adorn its upper part – thanks to pollution.

Less than a decade after the entire pure gold sheet of the shrine was replaced in 1999 – after three years of laborious workmanship – the hundreds of kilos of gold have started to turn black.

The Sikh community internationally had got together with Punjab Sikhs and religious bodies to get the gold layer of the shrine – completed in 1,604 – changed. Hundreds of kilograms of gold were used in re-laying the gold sheet over the shrine.

Land for the shrine was donated by Mughal emperor Abkar to fourth Sikh Guru Ram Dass in the late 16th century. The shrine was completed during the time of the fifth Sikh Guru Arjun Dev.

In 1830, Punjab's king Maharaja Ranjit Singh donated 100 kg of gold for gold-plating the outer walls of the shrine. It was done on copper sheets. That's when it got its more popular name Golden Temple. 

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