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Nov 12, 2019-Tuesday



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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

Kartarpur in govt pilgrimage scheme

delhi Updated: Nov 08, 2019 23:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said his cabinet has given in-principle approval to add Kartarpur corridor to the existing state-sponsored pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens in the city.

“The Delhi cabinet today gave in-principle approval to add Kartarpur in the Mukhya Mantri Tirth Yatra Yojana on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji. We have directed the revenue department to chalk out the modalities. We are awaiting more clarity on the issue from the central government,” Kejriwal said.

The Kartarpur corridor, which links the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in Punjab to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, is scheduled to be inaugurated on Saturday.

The announcement comes at a time when political parties across the city are gearing up for assembly elections in Delhi, which has a sizeable Sikh electorate. According to Census 2011, the city hosts around 4.43% Sikh voters.

The Delhi assembly elections are likely to be held early next year.

The Mukhya Mantri Tirth Yatra Yojana, which was announced days after the Lok Sabha election results were declared earlier this year, has facilitated journeys of around 17,000 pilgrims in 17 batches so far. Around 45,000 applicants are still in the queue to avail of the scheme’s benefits, Delhi’s revenue minister Kailash Gahlot, said.

Currently, the scheme includes 12 pilgrimage routes. The destinations include Amritsar-Wagah, Amarnath, Rameswaram-Madurai, Tirupathi, Dwarkadhish-Nageshwar, Puri, Shirdi-Shani Shingnapur, Ujjain and Bodh Gaya-Sarnath. Under the scheme, senior citizens are allowed to travel with an attendant.

Currently, the plan is to extend the Delhi-Amritsar-Wagah route to include Kartarpur, Kejriwal said.

According to Gahlot, the government has to take certain things into consideration which include the necessity of passport, a fee for using the corridor, registration of pilgrims with the union home ministry. The schedule should be planned out in a way which adheres to the cap of maximum 5,000 pilgrims allowed in the corridor on a single day.