All New Langar Facility To Come Up At Golden Temple In A Year

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AMRITSAR – To curb pollution around the Golden Temple and to facilitate thousands of devotees visiting the holy shrine daily, the SGPC has embarked on a project to modernise the kitchen facility of Sri Guru Ramdas Langar Hall at the shrine complex.

Talking to The Tribune, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said the work had started and the firm engaged for the project had been asked to complete it within a year.

The new facility will boast of features like an ultramodern kitchen, air-conditioned halls, lifts, basement for storage of ration and vegetables, separate area for washing vegetables, besides the provision for conveyor system. The kitchen will be “heat-proof” so that the devotees and the volunteers involved in cooking langar do not have any problem while performing “sewa”.

The project will be carried out in a phased manner. At present, there are two langar halls with a capacity of serving 5,000 devotees each. These were constructed by Baba Kharak Singh in 1971. The SGPC has erected a huge temporary shed to shift the ‘langar’ cooking facility to pave the way for the construction of the new kitchen.

Though the SGPC still uses wood as fuel, there are reports that the modern kitchen doesn’t have a provision for it. At present, around 5,000 LPG cylinders are utilised in the Golden Temple’s langar facility every month.

The new kitchen will be completely on the LPG system. The entire system will be based on the pattern of a five-star hotel, the sources said. However, Makkar said there would be a provision for using wood for cooking langar in a separate shed in case of an emergency. The new building would have four floors, including the basement.

Makkar said they were exploring the option of cooking langar with solar energy. In one such project, the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) was working on a plan to prepare langar at the shrine with a solar steam cooking system. A Faridabad-based firm had also carried out a survey in this regard last year.