New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Integrated Check Post and flagged off first batch of pilgrims at Kartarpur Sahib corridor in Gurdaspur, Punjab today.
Prime Minister took a guided tour of digital installation on life of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, and the Passenger Terminal Building prior to the inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor.
He also interacted with the 1st batch of pilgrims just before their departure.
Integrated Check Post, Kartarpur Corridor
Integrated Check Post would facilitate, Indian Piligrims to visit to Gurudwara Kartapur Sahib in Pakistan.
India has signed the Agreement with Pakistan on the 24th of October 2019 on the modalities for operationalisation of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at Zero Point, International Boundary, Dera Baba Nanak.
It may be recalled, the Union Cabinet passed a resolution on 22 November 2018 to celebrate the historic occasion of 550th Birth Anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji in a grand and befitting manner, throughout the country and across the globe.
The Union Cabinet also approved the building and development of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the International Boundary, to facilitate pilgrims from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, round the year, in a smooth and easy manner.
Provisions made for facilitation of Pilgrims
The 4.2 Km four lane highway connecting Dera Baba Nanak from Amritsar – Gurdaspur Highway is constructed at a cost of Rs 120 Cr.
The state-of-the-art Passenger Terminal Building is on 15 acres land. The fully air conditioned building akin to an airport has over 50 immigration counters for facilitating about 5000 pilgrims a day.
It has all the necessary public amenities like kiosks, washrooms, child care, first aid medical facilities, prayer room and snacks counters inside main building.
Robust security infrastructure is put in place with CCTV surveillance and public address systems.
A 300 ft. National Monumental Flag is also being hoisted at the International Border.
The Agreement signed with Pakistan on the 24th of October provides a formal framework for operationalisation of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.
The highlights of the Agreement are: –
Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor;
The travel will be Visa Free;
Pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport;
Persons of Indian Origin need to carry OCI card along with the passport of their country;
The Corridor is open from dawn to dusk. Pilgrims travelling in the morning will have to return on the same day;
The Corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days, to be informed in advance;
Pilgrims will have a choice to visit as individuals or in groups, and also to travel on foot;
India will send the list of pilgrims to Pakistan 10 days ahead of travel date. Confirmation will be sent to pilgrims 4 days before the travel date;
The Pakistan side has assured India on sufficient provision for ‘Langar’ and distribution of ‘Prasad’;
Portal for Registration
The pilgrims may have to necessarily register themselves online on the portal prakashpurb550.mha.gov.inand exercise their choice to travel on any day. Pilgrims will be informed by SMS and email of the confirmation of registration 3 to 4 days in advance of the date of travel. An Electronic Travel Authorization will also be generated. The pilgrims need to carry Electronic Travel Authorization, along with their passport, when they arrive at the Passenger Terminal Building.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called for upholding the teachings and values of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He was participating in the special event organised at Dera Baba Nanak on the occasion of the inauguration of the Integrated Check Post (ICP) and the Kartarpur Corridor. He also released commemorative coin celebrating 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Addressing a large gathering the Prime Minister said that he feels honoured to dedicate the Kartapur Corridor to the nation at the holy site of Dera Baba Nanak.
The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee earlier felicitated the Prime Minister with the Quami Seva Award. Prime Minister said that he is dedicating it to the lotus feet of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
Prime Minister said the inauguration of the ICP and the Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of 550th Guru Nanak Jayanti is a blissful blessing which would now ease the travel to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.
Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the SGPC, the Government of Punjab and also those who built the corridor in a record time frame to facilitate the movement of the pilgrims across the border. Prime Minister also expressed his gratitude to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and all those on the other side of the border who made this possible.
Prime Minister described Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji as an inspiration not only to India but also the whole world. He said Guru Nanak Dev Ji is not only a Guru, but a philosophy, and as pillar of support for our living. He said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught us the importance of living by true values and also gave an economic system based on honesty and self-confidence.
Prime Minister said Guru Nanak Dev Ji taught about equality, brotherhood and unity in the society and that he fought for removing various social evils.
Describing Kartarpur as a holy place filled with the divine aura of Nanak Dev Ji, Prime Minister said this corridor would help thousands of devotees and pilgrims.
Prime Minister said in the last five years the Government is trying to protect the country’s rich heritage and culture. And on the occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, he said several programmes are being held across the country and the world through our Embassies.
He recalled that 350th Guru Gobind Singh birth anniversary was celebrated across the country. He mentioned that a 750 bed modern hospital was built at Jamnagar in Gujarat in the honour of Guru Gobind Singh ji.
Prime Minister said the Guru Vani is being translated is various world languages to benefit the younger generations with the help of the UNESCO. He mentioned that Sultan Pur lodhi is being developed as a heritage town and a special train is launched connecting all the important sites linked to Guru Nanak Ji. He said amongst Sri Akal Takth, Dam Dama Sahib, Tejpur Sahib, Keshgarh Sahib, Patna Sahib and Huzoor Sahib the train and air Connectivity is being strengthened. And between Amritsar and Nanded a special flight has begun offering its services. Similarly on the Air India flight from Amritsar to London the Ek Omkar message is being played.
Prime Minister said the Union Government has taken one more major decision, which benefited many Sikh families living all over the world. The difficulties faced for several years by many of those living abroad to come to India have been removed. Now many families can apply for Visa and OCI Cards. They can meet their relatives in India easily and visit the pilgrim centres.
He said two more decisions of Union Government have also helped the Sikh Community. One is the removing of Art 370. It would now help the Sikh community in J&K and Leh and they would get the same rights as others citizens of the country. Similarly the Citizenship Amendment bill will now make it easy for Sikhs to become citizens of the country.
He said From Guru Nanak Dev Ji to Guru Gobind Ji, several Spiritual Gurus have dedicated their lives for unity, security of India. Many Sikhs dedicated their lives for independence in India. Centre has taken several steps to recognise this. He mentioned that the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial is being modernised. New focus is on Sikh Students to improve their skills and self-employment. In this context, he mentioned that about 27 lakh Sikh students were given scholarships.