Protecting Golden Temple from pollution


GtThe government is contemplating a ban on use of fuel other than LPG by goldsmiths, hotels and dhabas in the walled city here to reduce pollution affecting the Golden Temple, following a report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

The data collected by the board reveals that every goldsmith and dhaba/hotel owner uses 15 kg to 25 kg coal or up to 50 litres of diesel/kerosene a day, depending upon the workload and availability of electricity.

Deputy Commissioner KS Pannu instructed the environment engineer, PPCB, to take steps to stop burning of coal or diesel/petrol/kerosene in the city.

The PPCB had found high levels of harmful nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide in the ambient air. Experts had also cautioned that fireworks release these gases which could react with marble leading to corrosion and blackening. Miniature paintings and gold plating were also under threat from harmful gases, experts added.

The PPCB has recommended to the Punjab government to ban burning of fuel other than LPG in the walled city to save the Golden Temple.

The Deputy Commissioner held a meeting with representatives of the Association of Goldsmiths who have agreed to switch over to LPG instead of coal. The DC asked District Food and Supplies Controller Anjuman Bhaskar to give LPG connections to goldsmiths on priority.

A team headed by Dr RC Trivedi, additional-director, CPCB, visited the Golden Temple complex last year to free its surroundings free from pollutants on the pattern of the Taj Mahal. He had also favoured restriction on vehicles in 500-m- radius of Harmandar Sahib. The team had also suggested to use low-intensity crackers and fireworks during Gurpurbs or Bandi Chhor Diwas (Diwali).

However, the Municipal Corporation’s decision to make surrounding the shrine a vehicle-free zone by introducing battery-operated buses to ferry pilgrims is still in the pipeline.

Leave a Reply