Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Integrated Check Post at the Kartarpur Corridor, a religious link first in seven decades between India and Pakistan, here in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.
The inauguration of the Integrated Check Post facilitated Indian pilgrims to visit to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. But registration by a devotee is must.
India had signed an agreement with Pakistan on October 24 on the modalities for operationalisation of the 4.2 km-long four-lane Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at the Zero Point on the International Boundary.
The Kartarpur shrine, originally known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, is among the holiest of holy shrines and is believed to be the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of the Sikh religion, whose 550th birth anniversary falls on November 12.
The Union Cabinet passed a resolution on November 22, 2018 to celebrate the historic occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, in a grand and befitting manner throughout the country and across the globe.
The Cabinet also approved the building and development of the Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the International Boundary to facilitate pilgrims from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur round the year in a smooth and easy manner.
The 4.2-km corridor connects Dera Baba Nanak from Amritsar-Gurdaspur Highway is constructed at a cost of Rs 120 crore.
The state-of-the-art passenger terminal building is constructed on 15 acres. The fully air-conditioned building akin to an airport has over 50 immigration counters for facilitating about 5,000 pilgrims a day.
It has all the necessary public amenities like kiosks, washrooms, childcare, first-aid medical facilities, prayer room and snacks counters inside main building.
Robust security infrastructure is put in place with CCTV surveillance and public address systems.
A 300-feet national monumental flag is also being hoisted at the International Border.
The agreement signed with Pakistan provides a formal framework for operationalisation of the Kartarpur Corridor.
As per the agreement, Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor; the travel will be visa free; pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport; persons of Indian origin need to carry OCI card along with the passport of their country; and the corridor is open from dawn to dusk.
The pilgrims travelling in the morning will have to return on the same day and the corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days, to be informed in advance.
The pilgrims will have a choice to visit as individuals or in groups, and also to travel on foot; India will send the list of pilgrims to Pakistan 10 days ahead of travel date.
The confirmation will be sent to pilgrims four days before the travel date and the Pakistan side has assured India on sufficient provision for ‘langar’ and distribution of ‘prasad’.
Each pilgrim may have to necessarily register himself online on the portal prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in and exercise their choice to travel on any day.
Pilgrims will be informed by SMS and email of the confirmation of registration three to four days in advance of the date of travel.
An Electronic Travel Authorization will also be generated. The pilgrims will need to carry the authorization along with their passport when they arrive at the Passenger Terminal Building.
However, the ticklish issue of a $20 service fee imposed by Islamabad remained unresolved. This means each visitor will have to pay the service fee.