Soon, Golden Temple may dish out solar-cooked langar

The day may not be far off when food cooked by solar energy may be served to the devotees at the Golden Temple. Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, who on Sunday paid obeisance at the Golden Temple, said he will ask officials to carry out a feasibility study for the project.

"After conducting surveys, Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) had submitted a proposal to the ministry for setting up solar cooking system at a cost of Rs 1.40 crore at the Golden Temple," said PEDA Chairman Manjit Singh. Once in place, the new arrangement will save half of the LPG fuel being used to prepare food. At present, on an average, 100 LPG cylinders are used daily to cook food for the langar, said SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh. More than 50,000 devotees are served langar daily at the temple.

The new system will be the third solar energy powered project at Golden Temple following a 25-KW solar power project and a solar water heating system. Besides cutting down on costs, ensuring a clean environment was the major driving force behind the proposed project, Abdullah said: "We will get a study done. The project will be on the lines of ones in place in Shirdi Sai Baba Ashram and Brahma Kumari Ashram."

Abdullah said that he will invite Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to inaugurate the solar cooking project at Golden Temple. He added that nearly 30 types of dished could be cooked using solar energy and the system will have a capacity to cook nearly 1 tonne of cereal.

Bikram Singh Majithia, Punjab cabinet minister for Non-conventional Energy accompanied Abdullah to the Golden Temple and said that he had urged Abdullah to approve a solar power project for Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh Ji Shaheed.

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