Chandigarh, July 2 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking up speedy construction of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor as well as addressing vital and long-standing issues of Sikhs.
He said the Central government had expeditiously started work on a world class and state-of-the-art passenger terminal building complex as well as an all-weather bridge on the Ravi river to facilitate unrestricted and easy flow of pilgrims.
The Kartarpur Sahib corridor links India’s Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district with Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
As much as 50 acres of land has been acquired for the project that will cost Rs 290 crore.
“The passenger terminal building will be completed by October and the national highway connecting zero point to national highway will be completed by September,” Badal, who met Modi in Delhi on Monday, told reporters here.
While appreciating the speed with which the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was coming up on Indian territory, the SAD President said it was unfortunate that the Pakistan government was indulging in double speak.
“Pakistan has put a cap on number of devotees to 700 per day and that too for restricted number of days per year. Entry fee and permit costs proposed by Pakistan for pilgrims are also very high at Rs 1,600 per person on normal days and Rs 8,000 per person on special days,” Badal said.
“Pakistan also proposes to restrict this facility for only Indian nationals and People of Indian Origin (NRIs) cannot access it,” he added.
Badal urged the Pakistan government to have a large heart.