Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu today lay the foundation stone for the construction of Dera Baba Nanak-Kartarpur Sahib road corridor up to the international border with Pakistan in village Mann in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
In the landmark decision, the Union Cabinet had on Thursday approved building and development of Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to International Border to commemorate the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji in 2019.
Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Food Processing Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will be present on the occasion. India and Pakistan had announced on 15th of this month that they will build Corridors on their respective sides to let Sikh pilgrims visit the holy shrine without the visa and to help them walk across and come back.
Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Puri will travel to Pakistan to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims on Wednesday. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was also invited by Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to attend the ceremony but she will not be able to attend the ceremony because of prior commitments.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has welcomed India’s decision to send its two Union ministers to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor next week and termed it as a positive response.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said India has responded well to Pakistan’s initiative in its bid to bring the Sikh community closer. The Minister told this yesterday during his visit to the stall of Indian High Commission at the Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association charity bazaar.
The Sikh community in America also hailed the government’s decision to build a religious corridor. Jasdip Singh, the chairman of the Sikhs of America said the Indian government’s decision to develop and open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is historic and this is a beginning for the greater good of the region and the humanity.
The Indian side of Corridor will start from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district and extends up to International border. The project corridor is to be developed by the National Highways Authority of India and will be funded by the Centre. The project corridor is four-lane with service road and all other appropriate amenities for pilgrims intending to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur in Pakistan.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district. It was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522. The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died. The corridor, once built, will give Indian pilgrims easy access to the shrine and boost the tourism in the region.