The city based NGOs and social non-profit organisations of Amritsar, have recently extended support towards the efforts and decision made by the government, to make the area, around The Golden Temple, vehicle-free and pollution-free.A deputation of the NGOs led by Rajinder Singh Marwaha, president, trade cell, Majha zone, Shiromani Akali Dal, met Police Commissioner Amar Singh Chahal to demand the completion of the no-vehicle zone project. The Amritsar Vikas Manch, Mission Aagaaz, Team Fateh, Eco-Sikh, Amritsar Hotel and Restaurants Associations, Lok Kalyan Samiti, Saathi Sanstha and Human Rights Organisations unanimously favoured the setting up of the no-vehicle zone.
This move taken by the government under the ‘Golden Temple Beautification Project’ has various reasons behind its declaration. Along with streamlining traffic and solving jam problems, the project will also protect travellers and devotees from accidents and incidents of snatching, pick pocketing and more. With such ease of movement the tourists will be able to roam around, look at the markets and shop in complete peace and comfort. Also, the devotees that worship at the shrine daily will be able to enjoy pure solace and quiet, away from the noise and humdrum of the city and vehicles.
For everyone’s convenience, the government will also address the grievances of traders and workers, who follow that particular route, with alternate passages. The leaders will make sure that no one faces any problems due to this project and provide easy solutions.Keeping these points aside, the most important reason, for the establishment of this project, is the rising pollution in the air and its impact on the holy Sikh shrine.
The beautiful Golden Temple that witnesses 1 lakh devotees and visitors daily, is exposed to the most harmful and poisonous air pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, which cause permanent dullness and damage to the shrine made of gold, marble and fresco.The condition had worsened to such an extent that the fresh new plating of gold had to be laid down in 1999. Since then, the SGPC has to perform routine cleaning annually.This project is the need of the hour to protect the temple from damage and to protect the health and safety of those who pay their visits daily. These efforts taken by the government, with the support of NGOs and cooperation by residents, will surely lower the count of pollutants in the air by a significant ratio.