The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has requested the Punjab government to waive 50% of Golden Temple’s monthly electricity bills.
The demand was made by SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar through a letter to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal here on Thursday. Similar requests had been made to the CM’s office twice — in November last year and in March this year.
In a statement, SGPC additional secretary Daljit Singh Bedi said thousands of devotees visit the Golden Temple daily and the gurdwara body provides them ‘langar’ and subsidised lodging facilities. He said the SGPC pays about Rs 7 lakh monthly for power consumed at the shrine’s rest houses and the ‘langar’.
“The SGPC is a religious body that provides the best facilities to pilgrims. Our only source of income is the donations made by devotees,” Makkar stated in the letter, pointing out that the electricity bills were a heavy burden on the religious body.
Over the years, the SGPC has been trying to bring down its power bills by using solar energy for heating water and cooking, but that accounts for only a small portion of its energy need.