DERA BABA NANAK (PUNJAB): The much-anticipated Kartarpur Corridor project for Indian pilgrims to visit the revered Sikh shrine across the border in Pakistan is expected to be completed by the end of this month and online registration for the pilgrimage will begin from Sunday.
Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) Chairman Govind Mohan confirmed the completion of work to IANS from the ground zero of the construction site at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district.
Construction of the 4.2 km-long corridor will be completed by October 31, a week before the celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, Mohan said.
The Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province, located 4.5 km from the border near Dera Baba Nanak, is highly revered among Sikhs as it was the place where Guru Nanak spent 18 years of his life and is his final resting place.
Mohan said that pilgrims can apply online from October 20 for visiting the historic gurdwara through a website that was launched recently.
"We are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Pakistan. From Oct 20, pilgrims can register at online portal," said Mohand, who is also an Additional Secretary in Ministry of Home Affairs.
A passport is a must for devotees from India visiting Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara to pay obeisance, he added.
To a query, the officer clarified that visa will not be required but the visitors need to get themselves registered online at least a month ahead of their visit.
The corridor is expected to be inaugurated on November 8 and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is to lead an all-party delegation across the border to Kartarpur Sahib on the opening day of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.
The delegation that will accompany the Chief Minister to the historic gurudwara would comprise all the 117 state legislators, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from Punjab, Shriomani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) members, as well as members of the Sant Samaj and representatives of each recognised political party in the state.
Thereafter, the LPAI chief said, 5,000 pilgrims will be able to visit the gurdwara every day and their visit would be completed in same day.
Clarifying the point, Mohan said the pilgrims will have to complete their visit to Kartarpur shrine the same day they will cross the Indian border.
Over Pakistan seeking $20 service charge from each visitor using the Kartarpur corridor, Mohan said a Joint Secretary level officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs are in the talks woth Pakistani counterparts to resolve the issue.