New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate November 8, the state-of-the-art Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab, thus formally opening the Kartarpur Corridor connecting two historical gurdwaras on either side of the India-Pakistan border for pilgrims, officials said Thursday.
The prime minister will also address a public meeting nearly three kilometres from the building after the inauguration, following which he will attend the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak being organised at Sultanpur Lodhi, the officials informed.
The much-awaited corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur, Punjab, with the gurdwara at Kartarpur, just around four kilometres from the international border, located at Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life at the Darbar Sahib gurdwara in Kartarpur, Pakistan, located on the banks of the river Ravi, making it one of the holiest sites for devotees.
Spanning over an area of around 2.5 lakh square feet, the terminal will have a facilitation centre to host government officials responsible for ensuring hassle-free travel of pilgrims, food kiosks, parking areas and security points. The government had acquired 50 acres land for the project which can accommodate 5,000 passengers. The foundation stone for the Rs 178-crore Kartarpur Corridor was laid by Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu in November 2018.
A total of 55 immigration counters are being set up at the passenger terminal. There will be no visa requirement but pilgrims will have to carry their passports.
Both India and Pakistan have agreed to allow 5,000 pilgrims every day and that additional pilgrims will be allowed on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion of facilities by Pakistan side.