Building plan for Kartarpur terminal cleared

Building plan for Kartarpur terminal cleared

An architecture design of the Passenger Terminal Building, approved by Ministry of Home Affairs, to be constructed for the Kartarpur corridor, in Gurdaspur, Saturday, March 9, 2019. (PTI Photo)

The government has approved the construction of a state-of-the-art passenger terminal building on the Indian side to facilitate pilgrims to the holy Sikh shrine in Pakistan's Karatpur Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak.

Fifty acres of land has been identified for the project and the process of land acquisition for the first phase—which will come up on a 15 acre land at the cost of Rs 190 crore— has been commenced.

Besides the complex, a 300-feet national monumental flag will be also be erected at the international border.

The government had in November last year decided to develop the Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district to the international border after both India and Pakistan agreed to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy shrine without travel documents.

The Ministry of Home Affairs, which cleared the detailed construction plan, has directed Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) to complete the work on a fast track basis, before 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November 2019.

LPAI is mandated to build and operate Integrated Check Posts along the land borders.

The design and quality parameters have been prepared keeping in view the aspirations and religious sentiments of the followers of Guru Nanak.

"The design of the PTB Complex has been inspired by the symbol 'Khanda' which represents values of oneness and humanity," a senior official said.

'Khanda' is a symbol of Sikh faith and is a combination of two swords crossed at the bottom and a circle.

Officials said that the complex will be fully air-conditioned and its  built-up area would measure around 21,650 square metre.

"The disabled-friendly building will display murals and photographs based on Indian cultural values with eye soothing landscaping. It will have adequate immigration and customs clearance facilities to process the smooth movement of approximately 5,000 pilgrims per day," they said.

The complex will also have open areas for kiosks, cloakrooms and adequate parking space. The passage up to the zero point on the International border will be covered.

Officials from India and Pakistan will be meeting at the Attari-Wagah border on March 14 to discuss and finalise the modalities for Kartarpur Corridor.

India had also proposed that a technical-level discussion on the alignment of the corridor be held on the same day on the sidelines of the meeting.

Pakistan has said that an Indian delegation would visit Islamabad on March 28 to discuss the draft Agreement on the corridor.