Release Rs 100 cr for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniv: CM to Manpreet | punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Release Rs 100 cr for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniv: CM to Manpreet

The CM gave the direction while chairing the second executive committee meeting of the state panel for the “Parkash Utsav” celebrations

punjab Updated: Jul 12, 2018 18:46 IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Guru Nanak,550th birth anniversary celebrations,Parkash Utsav
The CM said he would write to the ministry of external affairs to urge the Pakistani authorities to allow free access to Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan’s historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.(HT File Photo)

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed the state finance minister to immediately release Rs 100 crore for development and infrastructure work for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak.

The CM, who gave the direction while chairing the second executive committee meeting of the state panel for the “Parkash Utsav” celebrations, also asked finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal to make additional budgetary provision of an equal amount in the next fiscal for the development of Sultanpur Lodhi, Dera Baba Nanak and Batala, holy places visited by Guru Nanak.

Amarinder asked his principal secretary to pursue with the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) the state’s proposal for Central government grant of Rs 2,145 crore for the implementation of various projects on this momentous occasion. The CM said he would write to the ministry of external affairs to urge the Pakistani authorities to allow free access to Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan’s historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, where the first Sikh Guru breathed his last, through a special corridor for at least a week during the period of main celebrations.

Responding to another suggestion by the executive committee, the CM also directed the principal secretary, cultural affairs, to examine the feasibility of running a special train connecting all five Takhts as a religious tourism circuit. He agreed to the proposal of the rural development and panchayat minister to release prisoners lodged in jails across the state as a goodwill gesture on the basis of their satisfactory conduct in accordance with the past practice.

A four-member committee comprising ministers Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Vijay Inder Singla and Sultanpur Lodhi MLA Navtej Singh Cheema was also constituted to chalk out the modalities for the main function at Sultanpur Lodhi on November 12, 2019. The committee has been mandated to suggest the duration of the main celebrations, besides the time frame and the route of the religious procession from Nankana Sahib via Attari border through Sultanpur Lodhi to Batala and Dera Baba Nanak.

Besides decision to hold a review meeting every month, the CM asked the chief secretary to tie up with the housing and urban development department to explore the possibility of developing a new township, named as Sri Guru Nanak Dev Nagar, around the Beas. He also suggested a global interfaith convention to mark the occasion, with various religious heads being invited to participate and a classical music event of “Gurbani” with top classical music exponents.

The cultural affairs department has been asked to submit a detailed proposal for various projects, such as short documentary films, coffee table book, travelling exhibition of paintings etc. related to life and philosophy of Guru Nanak.

Finance minister Manpreet Badal, local government minister Navjot Sidhu, media adviser to CM Raveen Thukral, chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh, principal secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, principal secretary, water resources Jaspal Singh, principal secretary, water supply and sanitation, Jaspreet Talwar and director, cultural affairs, Shivdular Singh Dhillon were among those present.

First Published: Jul 12, 2018 18:45 IST