Dilly-dallying since long, the ambitious basement project of the Golden Temple Plaza building outside the shrine is aiming October completion now. The plaza is part of the second phase of the development project and the work is on in full swing these days.
The first phase of this around Rs 200 crore project was completed and inaugurated in 2014 but the basement project was hanging fire.
The first phase involved creation of 8,250 square feet open space with marble flooring and a fountain outside the Clock Tower entrance to the shrine.
The basement work is being jointly done by the Public Works Department (PWD) and the cultural department of the government. As the PWD looks after the civil work, the exhibits will be put up by the cultural wing.
The basement will contain historical details as well as photographs, portraits and paintings of the shrine and also of the holy city. The basement will also have a reception hall that will accommodate around 500 pilgrims. There will also be small souvenir shops, internet cafes besides washrooms and other facilities. The basement will also house a conference room.
Detailing on the basement project, PWD XEN, JS Sodhi said, “The basement will have four interpretation halls, which will provide information to visitors on the shrine and the history of the Sikhs in different languages. These halls will be well furnished where pilgrims can relax and get audio as well as visual details about the shrine on large-sized LCD screens.”
Other than this, two VVIP lounges and a VIP car parking that can hold 20 cars at a time are also a part of the project.
Notably, two arch-shaped gates at the Shanni Mandir end and the other at the Katra Ahluwalia end will serve as the entry points to the Plaza.