MP govt puts Kartarpur Sahib in pilgrimage scheme

Milind Ghatwai
Pilgrims at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur on Nov 9. On the inaugural day, 562 pilgrims crossed over to Pakistan to offer prayers at the shrine. (Express Photo: Neeraj Priyadarshi)

In another gift to the Sikh community in Madhya Pradesh, the Kamal Nath-led Congress government Wednesday included Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan in the Mukhyamantri Teerthadarshan Yojana.

This comes after the CM’s announcement in September that places associated with visits of Guru Nanak Dev will be developed as sites of religious tourism in the state.

The spiritual department issued an order to amend the list of places covered under the popular scheme that was launched by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in 2012. Under the Mukhyamantri Teerthadarshan Yojana, the government spends on travel, food and stay of pilgrims. Pilgrims are generally taken by rail but the government also spends on bus travel, guide fee and other incidental expenses whenever required.

MP domiciles who are above 60 years of age and do not pay income tax are eligible under the scheme. The age limit is 58 for women. Those aged above 65 can take one attendant with them.

The BJP government included nearly 30 places considered sacred by different religious communities on the list. Kartarpur is the first shrine located in another country that has been put on the list.