Washington, June 10, 2014: EcoSikh has appealed to the Punjab Government and SGPC to work towards making the holy city of Anandpur Sahib eco-friendly and sustainable as the preparations are underway to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the city beginning on June 19th. Ninth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Tegh Bahadur, purchased the land in 1665 and established this city which is now visited by thousands of devotees from all over the world every day. The city is housing Takhat Keshgarh Sahib, a seat of authority in Sikhism in addition to many other sites related to the 9th and 10th Guru of the Sikhs.
Dr. Rajwant Singh, President of EcoSikh in Washington, said, “Anandpur Sahib should be declared a green city and further development of this sacred city should be based on sustainable planning. Anandpur Sahib should be preserved as our natural heritage and its original and tranquil atmosphere should be protected for the coming generations. Construction around the sacred sites including Takhat Sahib should be restricted and it should be regulated. Too many buildings and sarais are making it a concrete jungle rather than the serene natural environment. Rain water harvesting, waste water management, garbage disposal and sanitation, solar based energy production, and pollution free public transportation should the become the priority.
Ranjodh Singh, Punjab Convener of EcoSikh, said, “Punjab Government should declare Anandpur Sahib plastic free and this declaration should happen before June 19th. All governmental agencies should enforce this law just as it is regulated in Chandigarh and neighboring state of Himachal Pradesh. Why can we not have similar initiatives in Punjab? Chemicals leaching out of these petroleum based products like Styrofoam is detrimental to the ecosystem of this sacred location.”
He further added, “In addition, we would like to appeal to all deras to serve langar in biodegradable products such as pattal, paper or kasore (earthen pots) and not use plastic. They should also clean the area after the langar, just as enthusiastically as they serve the langar. We also appeal Takhat Sri Kesgarh authorities to create plans in cleaning and preserving nature of sacred Anandpur Sahib, for generations to come.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh stated that “Gurdwara Patalpuri has hundreds of acres of land under cultivation. This land can easily be converted for herbal production through organic methods. Turmeric, Aloe Vera, Amla are top commercial crops these days. A few acres (less than 10) of land for Turmeric can serve nearly all the Anandpur Sahib Gurdwaras and its langar needs. A very low cost food processing unit can be established. There is popular trend all over the world on herbal and alternate medicine and this area of economic development should be explored.”
EcoSikh is working with national and international organizations to bring technology and planning to make Nanded housing Takhat Hazur Sahib, a eco-friendly and sustainable city. On June 27th, EcoSikh, through its Eco-Amritsar programme, is celebrating the 437th Amritsar Foundation Day in collaboration with many religious and civic organizations in Amritsar to create awareness about long term ecology of the holy city.