SGPC chief meets CM; says govt must not acquire gurdwara land in Mohali
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur on Tuesday met Punjab chief minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh in Chandigarh to raise issues related to the Sikhs.
“Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) wants to acquire about 12 acre land of Gurdwara Amb Sahib at Mohali. This is the property of the community and the SGPC cannot sell it or let anyone acquire it forcibly. The CM has assured us that the land will not be acquired at any cost,” Kaur said.
Kaur added that the issue of the solar system being installed at Golden Temple Complex has also been taken up with the Punjab CM. “The SGPC wants to install a 2.2 megawatt (MW) solar system in collaboration with the Sikh sangat. Due to lack of space, the system will be installed at the Gurdwara Satlani Sahib. We have appealed to the CM for clearance,” she said.
“The CM was also asked to immediately release ₹43 crore scholarship funds for Scheduled Caste (SC) students enroled in SGPC’s educational institutions. The balance of 2017-2019 has not been released. We are struggling to pay salaries,” Kaur added.
Kaur also asked the CM to issue instructions for passing the construction plans of new sarais (inn) for the sangat arriving at the Golden Temple. She added that the CM was also asked to hand over the Bassi Pathana Jail in Fatehgarh Sahib district to the SGPC and allow renovation of the historic Diwan Todar Mal’s Haweli (mansion). “Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji, the 9th Guru, was kept in Bassi Pathana Jail and it must be preserved with its heritage intact,” she added.
Kaur said the SGPC has invited Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to the function being organised at Gurdwara Guru Ke Mehal in Amritsar on May 1 to mark the 400th birth anniversary of ninth Guru. She said, “Due to the pandemic, the centenary celebrations will be held in a symbolic manner.” She appealed to the CM to relax the lockdown on weekends, in view of the celebrations.