Massive revamp and beautification plans are underway here for the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru of Sikhs, at Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib in 2017.
The work is on in full swing and the office-bearers of the parbandhak committee, Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib, are constantly monitoring the progress.
A massive revamp plan of Takht Sri Harimandir Sahib at a cost of Rs. 600 crore is already being executed. The ambitious project, which includes a golden Guru Durbar on the lines of the Golden Temple in Amritsar, is scheduled to be completed before January 5, 2017.
The committee has also sent a proposal of Rs. 1,200 crore for all-round development of Patna Sahib in view of the mega celebration to the Centre with a request for the Holy City status to Patna Sahib, the birth place of Guru Gobind Singh.
The work on the ambitious project got underway recently, following the laying of the foundation stones at four different places in and around the Takht Sahib.
"Baba Mohinder Singh from the UK is bearing the expenditure of developing the Guru Durbar -- both inside and outside. It will include a provision for car parking for 100 vehicles," said Takht parbandhak committee general secretary Charanjeet Singh.
What attracts attention at the sprawling gurdwara is the intricate gold inlay work being done on the ceiling of Takht Sri Harmandir Sahib. Expert artists have been roped in for the delicate work.
Junior vice-president of Takht Sahib RS Jeet said that after the new committee took over two years ago, the development work had gathered momentum. "We want it to be developed on the lines of the Golden temple," he added.
"The work to renovate the Guru Darbar started in April last year. The work is expected to be completed by 2016. The entire project of gold work on the ceiling is likely to cost Rs. 50 crore. Of this, Rs. 30 crore will be spent on construction work while Rs. 20 crore is the budget for intricate designing," said Jeet.
"Over 100 workers from Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are working round the clock. Besides, the parbandhak committee is planning a fully air-conditioned Diwan Hall behind the Guru Darbar where congregations are not possible at present, during the rainy season," Jeet said.
He said the committee was also constructing 100 fully air-conditioned rooms at Bade Ki Gali for visitors from across the world.
The plan to have an underground subway to connect the Kangan Ghat nearby has also been drawn up. "We have already submitted this proposal to the state government for approval. Once the approval comes, work will start. If there is any problem, we may have to plan an overhead passage," Jeet said.
He said Iqbal Singh and Surjeet Singh, both businessmen from Mumbai, have come forward to get 100 rooms constructed at Guru Ka Bagh for sewadars (gurdwara staff). "The work on the staff quarters is almost complete," he said.
"The devotion is such that NRIs the world over have expressed the desire to contribute to the pious job. So, funds will not be a problem," he said, adding that around four lakh NRIs were expected to contribute to the development work in and around the gurdwara.
CM assures help
In view of the mega celebrations, chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi recently visited the Takht Sahib to know about the development work planned.
The parbandhak committee has demanded that Patna Sahib be put on the world tourism map through environmental enhancement, heritage conservation, urban regeneration schemes, especially along the nearby Ganga river front, besides plans for traffic de-congestion and pollution control, improved health care and mobilisation of multi-faith community action.
The chief minister promised all help to the committee for making the 2017 event a grand success besides the constitution of a core committee of office-bearers of Takht Sahib and government officials to ensure coordinated effort for the big occasion, which will put Patna on the world stage.
He said Bihar would develop a Sikh pilgrimage circuit on the lines of Buddha and Sufi circuits. "Funds are necessary for a new 40-feet-wide road from New Bypass Road to Patna Ghat connecting also the Kangan ghat Ganga express way and other development works," Jeet added.
Massive revamp of Takht Shri Harmandir Sahib involving Rs. 500-600 crore gets underway
Parbandhak committee demands Holy City status for Patna Sahib so that it could be on the world Sikh tourist map
Work expected to be completed by January 5, 2017, the 350th birth anniversary of the 10th Guru of Sikhs
The interiors of Guru Durbar to be aesthetically decorated with gold inlay, initial work gets underway
Construction of 100 fully air-conditioned rooms for guests, diwan hall and staff quarters planned
Parbandhak committee proposes underground subway to connect the nearby Kangan Ghat
Another proposal of Rs. 1,200 crore sent to the Centre for development of the Sikhs' sacred place
CM to constitute a core committee of Takht Sahib and government officials to expedite preparations
Demand for completion of Ganga expressway from Mahatma Gandhi Setu (Gaighat) to Didarganj by 2016