CANDIGARH India: The Punjab Governor, Mr. S.S. Ray has appointed a high powered committee for the executive of the Golden Temple improvement plan.

The committee headed by the Chief Secretary, Mr. R.P. Commissioner, Home, Mr. S.L. Kapur; Financial Commissioner, Revenue, Mr. Tejendra Khanna; Finance Secretary and Legal Remembrance. The Secretary, Local Government, is the convener of the committee.

The high powered committee has been given the powers of Government to take all decisions regarding the “Temple area improvement plan”. The decision to set up the committee was taken at a meeting of senior Government officers held here today with the Governor in the chair.

At the field level, a project implementation group has been formed consisting of the Chairman, Improvement Trust, Amritsar; the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Amritsar; the Senior Town Planner; representative of the D.C., Amritsar and the Superintending Engineer, PWD, B&R, Amritsar.

Mr. Ray said at the meeting that every occupier in the area to be cleared had to be given alternative accommodation. Concerned officers would have to see it that the work was done without causing any hurt or cause for grievance to anyone. Mr. J.F. Ribeiro, Adviser to the Governor, would oversee the work of implementation of the plan and would be present in Amritsar when the demolition work started formally tomorrow.

The Governor told the meeting that the work would be executed in four phases. The first phase, entailing a 30meter ring around the Golden Temple complex, would commence tomorrow and would be completed by December 15, 1988. All religious, historic and some strategic buildings would be preserved of which the strategic buildings would be demolished after they were no longer required. The historic and religious buildings would be maintained permanently and would be repaired and beautified as a part of the improvement plan.

The whole scheme would be completed in two years by June 6, 1990, and would make Amritsar a new city. The laying of gardens and parks, landscaping and planting of trees would be done simultaneously. There would be an underground air conditioned shopping complex built on the outer periphery of the cleared area in which ousted shopkeepers from this area would be given first preference for alternative accommodation.

Article extracted from this publication >> June 17, 1988