Centre counters Punjab Minister’s contention on Kartarpur Corridor

Centre counters Punjab Minister’s contention on Kartarpur Corridor

Agency News

New Delhi, Jul 9 : The central government on Tuesday dismissed contention of a Punjab Minister that while Pakistan had completed more than 70 per cent of work related to the Kartarpur Corridor, the work progress in Indian side was still "lagging behind".

"A four lane highway connecting Zero point of the Kartarpur corridor up to National Highway 354 is being constructed by the National Highway Authority of India. The work was awarded in January 2019 at a total cost of Rs 120 crore. The land acquisition of 58 acres has been completed with the support of the state government. Nearly 45 per cent of the work has been completed. The road is scheduled to be completed by 30 September 2019," an official source said here.

The source further said - the state of the art passenger terminal building is being constructed by the Land Ports Authority of India. "The work was awarded on May 29, 2019 to Shapoorji Palonji company. The land acquisition process has been completed with the support of the Government of the State of Punjab and the project is scheduled to be completed by October 31, 2019. The total cost of the project is Rs 177.50 crores," the source said.

It further said concerns regarding possible flooding of Dera Baba Nanak due to construction of an embankment filled road on the Pakistan side have been raised strongly. Three rounds of technical level discussions have been held with the Pakistan side and they have been asked not to create structures that would, in any manner, endanger life and property on the Indian side due to flooding, sources said.

"India is already building a bridge on its side to provide for all weather connectivity for the Kartarpur corridor. Pakistan has also been asked to build similar bridge on their side that would provide safe and secure movement of the pilgrims and also address concerns with regard to flooding".

Sources further said the issues related to providing facilities for the pilgrims, including allowing larger number of pilgrims to move across the corridor and other modalities for the Kartarpur corridor would be further discussed at the forthcoming meeting on 14 July 2019. According to reports in a section of media, Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, said politicisation is delaying the Kartarpur Corridor works.

“We had met Akal Takht Jathedar and the SGPC management requesting them to organise joint celebrations. The SGPC and the government had issued a joint statement to this effect also, but Sukhbir took a delegation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invite him without taking the state government into confidence. It is sad that politicians are trying to score political brownie points over the pious occasion,” the Minister has said. (UNI)