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Amritsar

Posted at: Apr 16, 2018, 1:38 AM; last updated: Apr 16, 2018, 1:38 AM (IST)

Multi-storey SGPC inn to deal with accommodation issues

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 15

With a view to accommodate the increasing footfall of devotees at the Golden Temple, the SGPC intends to build a multi-storey sarai (inn) with ample parking space at its land located in the adjoining Akali Market.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal, accompanied by SGPC officials, visited the site, spread in six acres, on Sunday. There is a proposal to construct a new inn with at least 1,000 rooms.

An amount of Rs 10-crore has been kept aside in the 2018-2019 budget to carry out the first phase of the project. The proposal was mooted earlier too, but it could not take off as the dispute arose with the existing tenants who had moved court.

An official said the occupants of our shops were informed to vacate and the matter would be resolved out of the court.

The SGPC has already prepared a blueprint, including map and design of the proposed project which was approved at its executive meeting.

Longowal said, “There has been quite an increase in the footfall of devotees at the Golden Temple, but proportionately, the accommodation in our existing sarais fall short. Keeping in view the convenience of the devotees by providing them budgetary accommodation, we intend to construct this inn at the earliest. I have directed the officials concerned to work over it on priority.”

The site is behind Akal Takht. Another hitch was that it was having a very narrow passage on its entry point where a heritage structure in the form of a gate is also situated.

The SGPC has already purchased two plots measuring 600 sq yard near Pappranwala Bazaar and 500 sq yard near Churra Bazar to facilitate a wide approach.

At present, there are eight inns which provide lodging facilities for pilgrims, maintained by Golden Temple authorities. The latest addition was a luxury 10- storey inn spread over 1.13 lakh square feet near Saragarhi parking lot, having 238 rooms including 12 VIP suites.

The problem of inadequate accommodation is all the more visible during special occasions like Diwali and Gurpurbs, as the devotees can be seen lying either in the waiting area of the inns or the parikarma of the Golden Temple.

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