Moshe Safdie to under take beautification of Golden Temple surroundings

CHANDIGARH: Internationally acclaimed US based architect Moshe Safdie, who had successfully accomplished the most prestigious project of Khalsa Heritage Centre (KHC), Sri Anandpur Sahib would soon undertake the beautification of the surroundings of Golden Temple (Sri Harimandir Sahib) along with the corridor project (Galiara) around the holy Golden Temple at Amritsar.

A decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting by the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal with the delegation of architects led by Safdie here at Chief Minister’s residence this morning. Safdie informed the Chief Minister that he would make a detailed presentation on the concept and lay out plan to under take the beautification of the surroundings of Sri Harimandir Sahib from historic Jallianwala Bagh Complex to the temple site shortly. He said that the existing approved plan of the beautification of corridor project around Golden Temple would also be an integral part of this composite plan. Safdie pointed out that since the Golden Temple was one of the most sacred amongst the religious places of the world where people of all faiths across the globe converge to pay obeisance and offer prayers, was also the most preferred destination of religious tourism. Safdie also informed that he would also utilize the services of world renowned Lebanese landscape Architect Vladimir Djurovic for planting rare species of trees and shrubs which would be brought from the different part of world to accentuate its mystic aura and serenity.

The Chief Minister asked Safdie to complete this project within two years and assured that requisite funds would be made available to accomplish this project within the stipulated time frame. Badal also reviewed the progress of Khalsa Heritage Centre and asked Mr. Safdie to develop an additional area of 60 acres land around the complex for landscaping to further add ambience and scenic beauty of the Centre in the foot hills of the Shivalik Ranges.

Mr. Safdie assured the Chief Minister, on completion the entire project KHC would be dedicated to the Nation on the auspicious day of Baisakhi by April 13, 2010. He requested the Chief Minister to inaugurate it which Badal gracefully accepted and said, “One of his greatest wish in his life time would be fulfilled with the inauguration of this prestigious project as this project was also undertaken by me as Chief Minister during my last regime. On this Safdie acknowledged, “It is my sheer honor”

Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Chief Secretary S.C.Agrawal, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister D.S. Guru, K.J.S Cheema & S.S. Sandhu (both special Principal Secretaries to Chief Minister), Chief Executive officer of Anandpur Sahib Foundation and Principal Secretary Tourism Ms Geetika Kalha and Finance Secretary Karan Avtar Singh.

Safdie was accompanied by his team comprising landscape architect Vladimir Djurovic, Associate Architect Ashok Dhawan, Consultant Kristin Kelly, Chief Engineer T.S.Gill and Junior Engineer Jagmohan Singh.

Punjab Newsline Network Sunday, 12 July 2009

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