LAHORE: Indian and Pakistan technical experts on Tuesday held a meeting at Kartarpur corridor’s Zero Point to finalize the development plan of the proposed passage and try to make it functional before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, in November this year.
According to an official handout circulated by Pakistan’s Foreign Office soon after the gathering, “the meeting was held in a positive and constructive environment.”
Kartarpur corridor is meant to provide India’s Sikh pilgrims visa-free access to one of the most sacred shrines of their faith, Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, which was built at a place where Guru Nanak had settled after his missionary travels.
Experts from the two sides jointly visited the proposed area for the corridor and discussed technical aspects of the construction of roads and accommodation for Sikh pilgrims.
“Both sides jointly surveyed the coordinates of the Zero Point and discussed technical details, including Finished Road Level, High Flood level etc. The two sides agreed on some technical aspects/details and expressed the hope to finalize other modalities at the earliest,” Pakistan’s official statement added.
Apart from that, both teams of experts exchanged documents containing their respective technical proposals which will now come under discussion in the next high level meeting of their diplomats on April 2, 2019, at Wahga border in Pakistan.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan and India are sharing the construction burden of the corridor in their respective areas. While Pakistan has built 4km route on her side, the route between Guru Nanak’s shrine and Zero Point will be constructed by India.
Pakistan also plans to construct residential facilities for Sikhs coming from India and other parts of the world, and India intends to construct a passenger terminal at the Zero Line. Taken together, the estimated cost of the project is likely to reach $1.9 billion.
The passenger terminal will have the capacity to manage immigration and customs clearance of over 5000 Sikh pilgrims on a daily basis. The second phase of the project will involve the construction of temporary accommodation and a hospital for pilgrims, along with the construction of a bridge on River Ravi.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the corridor in Pakistan was performed last year on November 28 by Prime Minister Imran Khan that was also attended by a delegation of Indian legislators, including cricketer-turned-politician Nuvjot Singh Sidhu.