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It took five years for the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandak Committee (SGPC) to decide that gold coating which adorns the Golden Temple needs to be cleaned. But it just took a week for a group of 30 devotees from the Birmingham-based Guru Nanak Nishkram Sewak Jatha to finish the work.

Notably, it is the same group which was stopped from cleaning the gold coating five years back by SGPC officials. Now, the SGPC has been suggested to clean it on a daily basis to minimise the damage.

A mixture of ritha (soapstone), lemon and water was used by the devotees to clean the coating which had turned black due to pollution.

The gold coated tomb of the nearby Gurudwara Baba Atal Sahib, which also had worn out, was also cleaned.

“Earlier we used to clean the gold coating every year. But then our volunteers were stopped in 2011. We returned only after the SGPC executive committee passed a resolution to assign with the duty to clean it. We will again pay a visit after six months,” said Inderjit Singh, who lead the group.

“Earlier we used to clean the coating without taking any permission from the SGPC. But now, we have realised that this service should be conducted after getting their nod as the gold coating is very delicate and needs proper attention and care. We accepted the offer after SGPC recently approached us and passed a resolution in its executive committee,” he added

Singh also showed a collection of photos highlighting how the coating looks before and after it was cleaned. “During cleaning, we observed that the part of the coating had turned black. So we have advised the SGPC to clean the coating daily,” he said.