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Kartarpur Corridor: Pilgrim turnout poor because of passport muddle


Kartarpur_Sahib_PTI

DERA BABA NANAK/AMRITSAR: A total of about 625 pilgrims were allowed to visit Darbar Sahib Gurdwara at Kartarpur in Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor in two days (Sunday and Monday) after its grand unveiling on November 9 by PM Narendra Modi.

While 225-odd pilgrims were allowed to visit the holy shrine in the neighboring country through the corridor on Sunday, the number swelled to 400 devotees on Monday.

The poor turnout is due to the fact that a large number of pilgrims are still confused about whether or not they require a passport to travel through the corridor.

Besides, they are facing technical problems while applying on the portal. The newly built Integrated Check Post on the Indian side is also incomplete.

On the inauguration of the corridor, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh led the first jatha of 550 pilgrims, many of them high-profile people.

As per the agreement between Indian and Pakistan, the neighboring country will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit the gurdwara where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life.

Bus service

The opening of Kartarpur Corridor has rekindled hope among Sikhs devotees for the revival of the ‘Punj-Aab’ bus service between Amritsar and Lahore-Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak.

The bus service was suspended by Pakistan after the Union government revoked Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

One had to travel to Delhi to get the visa from the Pakistani High Commission, a tedious process. Expressing hope that the bus service would be revived, SGPC chief secretary Roop Singh said, “We can depute our staff to get the devotees’ documents processed from the high commission. We are ready to act as a facilitator if entrusted with the responsibility.”

Devotees throng Dera Baba Nanak on anniversary eve

Dera Baba Nanak: A sea of devotees thronged the historic Gurdwara Ber Sahib here, which reverberated with the sound of Gurbani (hyms), and took a dip in the holy Kali Bein, a day before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

More than 25 lakh pilgrims have visited here in last 10 days. Most of the pilgrims are coming from Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Bihar and Maharashtra, apart from the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.

Devotees also thronged Darbar Sahib at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur, Golden Temple in Amritsar and Nada Sahib in Panchkula.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)