Controversy has erupted over the demolition of the oldest serais, Sri Guru Ram Dass Niwas, at the Golden Temple complex here today with an organisation saying the move is aimed at “killing” the heritage essence of the complex.The SGPC has proposed to construct a new building of the serai by demolishing the existing building whose foundation stone was laid in 1931. It has 228 rooms and 18 halls. The serai is the most economical means of stay for pilgrims as most other serais have air-conditioning and other ultra-modern facilities.President of the Sikh Sadhbhawna Dal Baldev Singh Wadala, which has objected to the demolition, said, “The SGPC should instead preserve the old building and construct another facility at space available in the Akali market.” He said the heritage look of many other buildings had already been changed on the pretext of renovation. He said the charges for other serais were much more than Guru Ram Dass Niwas and it would be against the interests of poor pilgrims to demolish such a facility.He said they would approach the High Court, if the the SGPC did not stop the move to demolish the serai. The Kar Seva for construction of the new building has already been entrusted to Baba Kashmira Singh Bhuri Wale. The SGPC has plans to initiate the construction on July 2.Wadala is former Hajoori Ragi of the Golden Temple and earlier he had objected to the appointment of Chief Secretary by the SGPC. He had submitted his resignation on the issue but the SGPC, instead of accepting his resignation, had sacked him. Later, he floated the Sikh Sadbhawna Dal.
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