The second phase of the Rs 130 crore Golden Temple Plaza involving the construction of hall and setting up of the state-of-the-art information system in the basement of the Plaza is now in full swing as deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has made it clear to the architects and interior designers that the project should be ready by Diwali.
The first phase was inaugurated on Diwali two years ago by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. This involved creation of 8,250 square feet open space with marble flooring and a fountain right outside the Clock Tower entrance to the Golden Temple.
The initial cost of the project was fixed at Rs 78 crore, but due to delays, it shot up to Rs 117 crore. However, latest figures given by the Public Works Department (PWD) has put the cost of the first and second phase at Rs 130 crore on completing of the entire project. A major portion of the total amount, which is around Rs 80 crore will be spent on the basement.
The design of the Plaza was prepared by Designer Associates, a Noida-based firm, while it was executed by ‘Srishti’, a Punjab-Delhi-based private construction company. The PWD is the supervising authority.
The same quality marble that covers the ‘parikrama’ of the shrine was used on the Plaza top. The flooring of the Plaza (top) touches the marble flooring outside the Clock Tower entrance, giving the two an identical look. The main idea behind this project was to beautify the area outside the main entrance leading to the shrine and at the same time make the path to the shrine easy. In the first phase, a ‘Jora Ghar’ (room for keeping shoes) and a ‘Ghatri Ghar’ (cloak room), both of which are air-conditioned were also constructed.