Alleging that an underground parking is being planned inside Gurdwara Rakab Ganj without any permission, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi-UK) on Wednesday claimed that the project could be a security threat to Parliament. Located at the southern tip of Pandit Pant Marg, Gurdwara Rakab Ganj is metres away from Parliament.
Jasjit Singh, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi-UK), said the gurdwara authorities have been collecting donations from across the world for the project even though they do not have the required permissions.
The project does not have the permission of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). Yet, Paramjit Singh Sarna of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and his brother Harwinder Singh Sarna have been collecting fundsfor the project, Jasjit Singh said. “Moreover, Paramjit Singh’s term as DSGMC president expired in February. So he has no legal or moral right to go ahead with any project,” he said.
While Paramjit Singh Sarna was unreachable as he was abroad, Harwinder Singh Sarna, his brother and former president of DSGMC, said they were doing nothing wrong.
The DSGMC plans to construct an underground parking large enough to accommodate 3,000 cars. The project, spread over approximately 7-8 acres, would cost around R325 crore. Said Sarna, “The gurdwara draws thousands of visitors, especially on days like Guru Purab. The government does not have land to provide us with surface parking lot, so we are planning this underground parking.”
However, NDMC spokesperson Anand Tiwari said, “No such request has been received by NDMC.” But Sarna countered that they have informed NDMC though they “do not need to take any permission from anybody”.