After remaining a non-starter for a long time, the construction work in the basement of Golden Temple plaza here has finally commenced, kindling a hope that the project would be completed in the near future.
The ground floor of the plaza was inaugurated by Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal more than a year ago but the basement of the plaza was never given the same attention and its construction hung in limbo till now. Even the district administration was non-committal about its fate.
However, the construction work has now started and the government aims to inaugurate the basement before the upcoming 2017 Assembly polls.
Initial building plan envisions galleries displaying works on Sikh history, walk-through area, VIP parking lot, conference room, waiting halls, cafe, lobby, VIP suites and other facilities for the pilgrims.
Recently, Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who had reviewed the ongoing development projects in the city, had also visited the basement of the plaza and had asked the officials to speed up the construction work.
Talking to HT, Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat said, “Construction work of the basement area has started and will be undertaken on a war-footing. The basement will have galleries depicting the history of Golden Temple, sound system and other facilities. We have received instructions to complete the work soon and we are hopeful that the entire basement work will be completed early next year.”
Notably, the Golden Temple plaza project was launched in 2011, but only the ground floor was completed thus far, whereas the basement area was lying defunct.
The ground floor of the plaza is paved with white marble and also has fountains. Seating arrangements have been made in the area outside the Golden Temple.
The basement contruction work is likely to cost Rs 80-crore. The ground floor of the plaza, which covers a large area outside the Golden Temple, was completed last year at a cost of Rs 130-crore.