Notwithstanding the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' of the Centre across the country, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) expressed displeasure over poor sanitary condition in streets and bazaars in the vicinity of the Golden Temple and along approach roads to the shrine.
Lambasting the Amritsar municipal corporation (MC) authorities on the issue once again, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said, "They have done nothing to clean the area around the shrine."
Talking to reporters here on Friday, he reiterated that the SGPC would launch its own cleanliness drive around the Golden Temple complex very soon.
The SGPC was to launch its cleanliness drive in the first week of September, but put off as it got busy with sending relief material to flood-hit Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
The decision to take cleanliness task into own hands was taken by the SGPC executive at a meeting held at Fatehgarh Sahib on August 23. The decision came after the religious body's repeated pleas to mayor Bakshi Ram Arora and other MC officials for regularly lifting of the heaps of filth along the roads leading to the shrine were often not adhered to and devotees and tourists often complained to SGPC officials about stench emanating from choked drains along the roads to the shrine.
After the SGPC decision, the MC had undertaken a special cleanliness drive around the shrine; but it has not been up to the expectations of Makkar and his team neither is he pleased with the efforts made under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
He once again reiterated that the cleanliness drive for the SGPC was akin to performing 'kar sewa', in which devotees would also be involved, while residents of the area and shopkeepers would also be a part of the drive and the SGPC will supply collection bags to them.
The SGPC has already purchased mini pick-up trucks to lift garbage and take it to dumping sites.
All SGPC 'safai karamcharis' will be supplied with uniforms, masks and gloves.
Keeping in view the high levels of air pollution during Diwali, Makkar said this year also the time period for the display of fireworks in the shrine would be limited.
"As we are putting effort to be eco-friendly, the only option left with us is to limit the firework time at the shrine," he said, while not specifying the time for this Diwali.