In an effort to promote environment-friendly measures, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has given the go-ahead to shifting a majority of its cooking activities at Harmandar Sahib's Guru Ram Dass 'langar' (community kitchen) on to solar energy.
This decision was taken after a devotee, Ravindra Laund, chairman of the Mumbai-based Ampar Group of Industries, agreed to bear the entire expenses of the Rs 1.5-crore project.
Laund, who had come to pay obeisance at Harmandar Sahib sometime ago, had expressed his desire to sponsor the project, if the SGPC permitted.
The SGPC's positive response resulted in a meeting on Friday between officials of the religious body and top executives of the Pune-based Dax Electro Systems Private Limited, the company selected for executing the project. Laund and Bhai Manjit Singh, chairman, Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), were also present at the meeting.
Bhai Manjit Singh stated at the meeting that SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar had agreed to the project, which would be completed and made functional in the next 3-4 months.
The executing company selected the roof of the Guru Arjan Dev Niwas in the shrine complex for the installation of solar light panels and other equipment.
Once executed, the project will save a great deal of wood, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and also electricity in the community kitchen.
A couple of months ago, a similar solar-heating project was installed atop the 'langar' building. The energy from this project is being used for heating water, which is used for cleaning utensils and even at times for cooking. However after the new solar project becomes operational, cooking of vegetables, pulses, tea and even chapattis will be through solar energy.
The Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah has already assured the SGPC that his ministry will bear the entire cost of solar lighting of the Golden Temple complex.