Work on Kartarpur corridor in full swing on Pakistan side
Work on the Kartarpur corridor on the Pakistan side is in a full swing with the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), which controls temples and gurdwaras in the neighbouring country, executing the project.
Heavy earthmoving machines are working round the clock to make the corridor a reality at the earliest, ETPB secretary Tariq Wazir told HT over telephone.
“Nearly 35% work is already complete and the entire project will see the light of day by September. In the first phase, ETPB will refurbish Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, build a sarovar, a langar hall, quarters for granthis, four kilometre passage from the India border to the gurdwara, a terminal for check-in by pilgrims from the Indian side and parking on the India-Pak border,” Wazir said.
After check-in, pilgrims from the Indian side will be taken to the shrine in Pakistan government’s vehicles, he added.
The Pakistan government is preparing a master plan of the area which will have hotels, serais and other facilities for the pilgrims in phase 2 of the project.
“We started construction work the day after the groundbreaking ceremony,” said Wazir.
Our government will develop 1,176 acre around the gurdwara in two phases, with a budget of 2 to 3 billion (Pak currency),” he added.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor on November 28 last year which was attended by two Union ministers from India — Hardeep Singh Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal besides Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu .
Speaking on the discussions with the Indian government about connecting the corridor constructed on Indian side, Wazir said Pakistan law and foreign ministries are working on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) to be signed with their Indian counterparts and a meeting was expected to take place shortly. Wazir said religious affairs minister Norul Haq along with a delegation of Sikh leaders visited the construction site last week to assess the progress.
Ramesh Singh Arora, a former MLA in the Punjab assembly from the Narowal constituency where the gurdwara is located, said the Pakistan’s federal government is directly involved in the work and has assigned tasks to various departments. The funds for the project are allocated by the federal government from the annual development plan, he said.
Also a member of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), Arora said the committee was also involved in monitoring of works, especially for the development of the gurdwara complex.