Pakistan unveils inauguration date for the historic Kartarpur Corridor

Pakistan unveils inauguration date for the historic Kartarpur Corridor

ZERO POINT - The first phase of the Kartapur Sahib Corridor (KSC) being constructed at the Pak-India border in Narowal district will be opened in the second week of November for facilitating the Sikh community from across the globe to offer religious rituals in Nankana Sahib.

About 90 percent of construction work on the first phase of project spread over 800 acres of land had been completed, KSC Project Director Atif Majid said. Majid said the construction work was divided in three parts, including the entry point at Pak-India border, Border Terminal Building (immigration control) and Gurdwara Complex having capacity to accommodate around 10,000 pilgrims at a time. Gurdwara Sahib is considered to be the holiest place for Sikhs, which is the last resting place of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji, where had spent the last 18 years of his life in preaching.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in November 2018 had performed the ground breaking of the project with the resolve to open the facility for the ‘Nanak namlevas’ irrespective of their religion on November 12, 2019, the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. While designing the architectural and structural layout of the Gurdwara Complex, the religious and cultural sensitivities of the Sikh community have been kept in view.

The project spreads over 823 acres of land, including the construction of 608 kilometers long access road, 800 meters bridge over realigned River Ravi, and remodeling and expansion of the Gurdwara Complex over an area of 330 acres with provision of additional facilities for increased number of pilgrims.

The construction of Border Terminal Building spreading over about 14 acres along with 2.8 kilometers long flood protection bund is being carried at a fast pace to meet the deadline. Another bridge in the area at Budhi River creek of about 262 Km will be constructed at the demand of Indian side in the second phase.

A 52,000 square feet purpose-made building to cater speedy immigration of pilgrims is being constructed having 76 counters with a provision of erecting same number more for catering the additional influx.

The Sikh pilgrims will have the choice to visit Gurdwara on foot or on transport provided by the Government of Pakistan. Special buses and electric carts are being procured for the purpose. About 400 acres of land has been acquired from the local people for the extension of the complex in the days to come on need basis. The complex includes a court yard of 10 acres around the main Gurdwara building, with a Baradari having “darshan deories, sarvars, devan asthan,” amenities and 20 dormitories to host more than 500 pilgrims.

A purpose-built Langar Hall over 28,190 square feet for serving over 2,000 pilgrims at a time is being constructed, besides a guest accommodation area (Tent village) over 115,880 sq feet having 20 dormitories and 40 family rooms with facilities to host about 700 pilgrims intending for night stay. Over 25 acres land with additional 36 acres is designated as “Kheti Sahib” where cultivation of crops on the land titled by Gruru Nanak will be done and served in the Langar Khana.

Offering medical aid to the pilgrims, medical emergency center and kiosk area is being developed, besides arranging dedicated security of the pilgrims will be provided to ensure hassle free visit of pilgrims.

The KSC project director said special efforts had been made to ensure preservation of religious sacred sites with the Gurdwara courtyard as all the designing of the Gurdwara had been carried out with the consultation of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC).

He said as a goodwill gesture the project management had decided to construct roads linking the adjacent villages, besides renovating existing school and mosque buildings. Meanwhile, he said, the area people had been hired for undertaking various services during construction of the project.