New Delhi to review Kartarpur corridor plan today

Meeting to also discuss security related matters


Asif Mehmood January 15, 2019
Sikh pilgrims look from Kartarpur Gurdwara Sahib after a groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor in Kartarpur on November 28, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

Indian officials will hold their first meeting on Tuesday to discuss the Kartarpur corridor plan at the Indian Interior Ministry in New Dehli.

The meeting will be chaired by the interior secretary and High Commissioner of India to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria will also be present.

The meeting will discuss the feasibility of the Kartarpur corridor, the immigration process for Sikh pilgrims and the costs incurred by the construction of the corridor.

The first phase of construction will see a four-lane road that leads from India’s Gurdaspur to the Pakistani border, while the second phase will see the construction of another four-lane road that leads from Amritsar to Gurdaspur. The meeting will also discuss the estimated costs as well as the feasibility of the project.

Sikh pilgrims' visa-free entry: Construction of Kartarpur corridor to begin soon

According to the Indian interior ministry, Bisaria will also update the Indian side on the progress made on the corridor in Pakistan while Indian Punjab's chief secretary will also brief the meeting in this regard.

The meeting will further discuss the facilities that will be provided to Sikh pilgrims, while important decisions are also expected to be taken about maintaining the law and order situation in India after the Kartarpur border is eventually opened.

According to sources in the Indian interior ministry, Pakistan’s suggestions pertaining to the departure and arrival of pilgrims will also come under discussion. In light of these recommendations, India will pen down their own set of suggestions, which will later be reviewed by both the sides and finalised.

‘Kartarpur corridor opening is historic’

Pakistan is constructing a 4.5-kilometre long corridor starting from Gurudwara Darbar Sahab to the Pakistan-India border. The corridor includes an 800-metre long bridge, being constructed over River Ravi.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noorul Haq inspected the construction work on the Kartarpur corridor on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directives. Around 30 per cent of the construction has been completed while the project’s first phase will be completed by August 31.

On the other hand, India has to construct a corridor from the Pakistan-India border to Dera Baba Nanak. The land has also been acquired for the purpose but construction work has not started yet. One of the problematic tasks at hands is connecting the corridor to main Indian routes, which will also come under discussion in today's meeting.

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