Amritsar: An air pollution-monitoring tower has been set up at the Golden Temple complex to collect real-time data of the pollution around the shrine. Costing around Rs 1.10 crore, this equipment will guide the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) in initiating steps to save the shrine that has been losing its sheen due to vehicular and industrial pollution, besides the mushrooming of hotels, dhabas and coal-operated hearths being used by the Guru Bazaar goldsmiths nearby.
The gold sheets over the gurdwara’s domes and walls have become dull. The Maharaja Ranjit Singh-era gold plates had lasted for over 150 years, before they were replaced in 1999. However, with no concrete steps taken by the government to control the pollution, it is feared that the next facelift would have to be undertaken again in just 17 years. PPCB chairman MS Chattwal said, “This equipment will enable us to know the exact scientific reason of the pollution in the complex.
Thereafter, precautionary measures can be adopted accordingly,” he said. SGPC’s additional secretary Diljit Singh Bedi said the SGPC had initiated various pollution-control measures like reducing the duration of fireworks on occasions like Diwali and modernising the kitchen along its langar hall.
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