Religions

Temporary offices on both sides to manage the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor pilgrims’ rush

July 22, 2019 06:30 AM
Pilgrims curiously having darshan of Kartarpur Sahib at Dera Baba Nanak

Chanchal Manohar Singh

Dera Baba Nanak (Gurdaspur): Work on Kartarpur Corridor, is going on at a fast speed on both sides of the Indo-Pak border-India and Pakistan. Excited and  restive pilgrims-the Sikhs and other faiths- both gather at border here every day from morning to evening, to have darshan of Guru Nanak Dev’s last abode at Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.  (See in Picture above)

The Border Security Force (BSF), which provides security round the clock at the Indo-Pak border here, has also made arrangements of a telescope to have the Darshan of Kartarpur Sahib through its powerful lens, which is installed on the Dhussi bandh, the last defence line of India, from where one could see bunkers built by the Indian Army and bunkers of the Pakistan Army on the opposite side. The telescopic view of  Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib is very clear and one can also see the construction activity on the Pakistan side.  The viewers share the jubilation and excitement with each other. One can  see the excitement lit large on their glowing faces. It is a mesmerising  experience for some of them.

On the 4.50 kilometres long Corridor constructed on the Pakistan side, two bridges -one on Ravi river and other on a small creek near the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara-have been completed. The Kartarpur Sahib  Corridor, which  is eight meter wide with a divider for the flow of vehicles on four meter road on each side for carrying the pilgrims from Indian side to Gurdwara  Kartarpur Sahib and for returning  to India.

The BSF officials do not allow pilgrims to have selfies or pics, while viewing Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib from a telescope and as well as of construction work going on both sides of the border. This is causing heart burn among the visitors and selfie edicts that they are barred from making pics of their memorable historic visit to Dera Baba Nanak which is  Indo-Pak border. I also wanted to have pics for my this write-up but my request to BSF personnel, even for a single snap/pic was also rejected  outrightly. There appears to be no danger to security, if pics and selfie are permitted at the border. Some of the Sikh  visitors here with whom I talked had come from Mumbai, Kolkata, Kanpur, Bhatinda.

Although one can witness heavy construction activity going on at the Kartarpur Corridor site on both side of the Indo-Pak  border, but still it appears that it would  not be possible to meet the deadline of November 2019, to finish construction work at Kartarpur Corridor.

In view of this, both-India and Pakistan-have proposed to raise some temporary structures for housing immigration and custom offices  for completing the initial clerical formalities before permitting  the pilgrims to go and pay obeisance at Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, Pakistan.

On the 4.50 kilometres long Corridor constructed on the Pakistan side, two bridges -one on Ravi river and other on a small creek near the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara-have been completed. The Kartarpur Sahib  Corridor, which  is eight meter wide with a divider for the flow of vehicles on four meter road on each side for carrying the pilgrims from Indian side to Gurdwara  Kartarpur Sahib and for returning  to India. Since both sides have agreed to allow even a single person and that too on foot to make it to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, most of the hurdles have been vacated. It has also been agreed to allow 5,000 pilgrims daily, round the year in addition to 10,000 or more on special occasions.

Now, The temporary shelters for immigration, custom and security offices would be constructed to inaugurate the pilgrims visit in November 2019, on the occasion of the celebrations, of  the first Guru of the Sikh community Guru Nanak Dev’s 550 birth anniversary While laying  the foundation stone of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor on November 28, last year, it was also announced by Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan that he would come again next year to inaugurate the  Kartarpur Corridor.

The members of the Sikh community all over the world are eagerly awaiting for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, who spent 17 years  six months and a few more days at Kartarpur Sahib before he breated  his last at the same place. Guru Nanak Dev message to the humanity  naam Japo (remember God’s name), Kirat  Karo (work to earn) and  wand Chhako (share your earnings with less fortunate/poors). Therefore, he himself, became a farmer and tilled his land here to grow food. Guru Nanak Dev also started here the Langur (community kitchen), wherein people of all irrespective of their religion, caste or socio-economic status sit together to partake of food. Guru Nanak named his abode as Kartarpur Sahib.

According to media reports, the Governor Pakistani Punjab, Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar has made three visits recently to inspect the Kartarpur Corridor’s construction work. Even the Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, has  also paid visits to monitor the construction work of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.

On the Indian sides, the senior officials of National Highways Authority,  which has been assigned the work to complete the construction of Kartarpur Corridor on the Indian side, continuously visit the site to monitor the amount  of work done by this Private company which has been allotted the civil work of the building of Kartarpur Corridor. The work of the Kartarpur Corridor is very huge, it may take another one year to raise the complete building structure.

The Prime Minister, Narender Modi, it is learnt is, also keeping track of the construction work at Dera Baba Nanak, so that the work is completed as early as possible.

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