Kartarpur Corridor Inauguration: Work on Pak Side Remains Slow

With the online registration for pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur set to commence on 20 October, the slow state of affairs on the Pakistan side is becoming a matter of concern for India.

The two nations are expected to sign an agreement on the operations of Kartarpur Corridor against the backdrop of serious tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad over the Kashmir issue.

Although, Pakistan’s final draft agreement for the corridor was received by India last week, the slow progress of the work in Pakistan is clearly visible as there is no work on the road as well as the bridge, which will connect the four-lane road constructed by India.

In a tweet on 12 October, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Indian side of the corridor on 8 November.

A state-of-the-art passenger terminal with facilitation centre to host government officials responsible for ensuring hassle-free travel of pilgrims, food kiosks, parking areas and security points will be set up ahead of inauguration.

“The total area of the passenger terminal is 2.5 lakh square feet, which is being constructed on a 20-acre land. Total land acquired for the project is 50 acres. India has proposed that the first group of pilgrims should cross over to Pakistan on 8 November,” said Govind Mohan, Chairman of the Land Port Authority of India and Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

"“Pakistan has deferred the construction but it has assured that it will complete the work in good time.”" - Govind Mohan, Chairman, Land Port Authority of India & Additional Secretary in Home Ministry

According to a report by Hindustan Times, Union Home Ministry and the Punjab government were currently taking care of all arrangements on the Indian side and the current lack of a role for the External Affairs Ministry indicated no Indian official or leader will travel to Pakistan in connection with the opening of the corridor.

The two sides had planned to open the corridor before the year-long celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev beginning in November.

(With inputs from PTI)

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