Kartarpur corridor construction still underway despite fresh tensionsUpdated: Aug 07, 2019, 00:35 IST
AMRITSAR: Construction of the Kartarpur corridor, a joint project undertaken by India and Pakistan, was still underway on Tuesday despite tensions flaring anew between two neighbours over India’s move to scrap articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and reserved government jobs and property ownership for permanent residents of the state.
No impact was witnessed on construction sites on Tuesday on both side of international border at Dera Baba Nanak, a small town situated along the border in Gurdaspur district, from where the corridor is being built to provide Indian devotees easy access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, the final resting place of Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh faith.
This historic gurdwara is situated only 3 km away from the border in Pakistan and can be seen by Indian devotees with binoculars.
Both countries have already announced plans to open the corridor on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November. Construction work on the passenger terminal and the highway is in full swing on the Indian side. On the Pakistan side, movement of construction vehicles and machines was normal on Tuesday.
“The construction is going on at the same pace and we will not let this project, which was a long-pending demand of the Sikh community, be affected by any kind of tension between India and Pakistan,” said Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, the Punjab minister of cooperation and jails and he MLA from Dera Baba Nanak.
About 60% of work on the project has been completed, according to representatives of the construction company that has the contract for implementing the project .
During the secretary-level talks held between the countries at the Wagah border on July 14, Indian officials said the first phase of the project will be completed by the end of September. Construction work is being carried out under the supervision of the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).