Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Gateway to Amritsar to get new look

A perspective view of the entrance gateway to Amritsar.

Aiming to beautify the main entrance roads to the holy city in sync with its character, the state government today unfolded a plan for constructing four entrance gateways with golden-shade dome atop them at a cost of around Rs 1.75 crore each.

Talking to The Tribune, Deputy Commissioner KS Pannu said the gates had been designed by Dr Sarabjot Behl of the Department of Architecture, GNDU, while the PWD would undertake their construction work. The project had been approved by a high-power committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. He said these gates would come up on Airport road, Attari road, Jalandhar road and Tarn Taran road. On the genesis of the idea, he said, “Amritsar is an important tourist destination and a major religious centre of the country. Though we have an entrance gate on the Amritsar-Jalandhar road, it does not go well with the historical and commercial significance of the city. We wanted to have a unique structure with a dash of modernity to it and hence these gates.” He said the work on the project would begin in February next year and it would take around six months to construct these gates. He said the first phase of the project would see construction of gates on the Airport road, Attari road and Jalandhar road, while the gate on the Tarn Taran road would be built in the second phase.

According to Rawal Singh of the Department of Architecture, GND University, these gates will be designed in tubular steel sections and their design will be somewhat similar to that of the central dome of Sri Harmandar Sahib. However, he clarified that unlike the Golden Temple, the ribs would be missing in the dome to keep an abstraction in the design. “We don’t want to exactly copy the design from the sanctum sanctorum.” He said there would be 16 over lutes (the round part) on the dome.

He said the span (width) of each of these gates would vary with each road. He said the side buttresses of these gates would be designed in concrete structure after which a skeletal steel structure would be placed over it. “We are using steel to keep the structure light weight. The idea is to ensure that the structure is easily put in place, without causing any traffic obstruction on these roads.” After placement of this steel structure, it would be superimposed with the central dome made of aluminum composite panels which would be screwed to the structure at the back.

Rawal said to add to the beauty of these gates, a special designer would be hired for making special lighting arrangements which would compliment their design at night. Also beautification on a stretch of 50 to 100 metres on either side of the road as well as the road divider would be carried out which would see plantation of decorative plants and flowers besides carving out of topiaries.

Perneet Singh, Tribune News Service, Amritsar, December 28

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