Pilgrims can carry `11,000, 7kg bag; Online registration for pilgrimage starts.
New Delhi: India on Thursday signed an agreement with Pakistan government on the modalities for operationalisation of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at the “Zero Point, International Boundary, Dera Baba Nanak” in Punjab that will allow pilgrims access to the historic Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara near the border in Pakistan’s Punjab for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of the founder of Sikhism and the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak.
The Indian government said, “The required infrastructure viz., the highway and the passenger terminal building are nearing completion for the timely inauguration of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. A robust security architecture has been put in place while facilitating smooth and easy passage of pilgrims.”
The Indian government said, “Pilgrims of all faiths and of Indian origin can use the Corridor. The travel will be visa-free and pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport.
Persons of Indian Origin need to carry Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card along with the passport of their country. The corridor is open from dawn to dusk. Pilgrims travelling in the morning will have to return on the same day.”
The corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days, to be informed in advance. They 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. Confirmation will be sent to pilgrims 4 days before the travel date.
Additionally, pilgrims will be allowed to carry a maximum of `11,000 and a 7kg bag, and will not be allowed to venture beyond the shrine. According to the “do’s and don’ts” issued by the ministry of home affairs, children below 13 years and elderly persons of about 75 years and above will have to travel in groups.
Eco-friendly material, preferably cloth bags, should be used during the pilgrimage and the surroundings should be kept clean.
Wi-Fi and broadband devices, flags and banners challenging the territorial integrity of India or Pakistan, liquor and a host of other items have been put in the prohibited list.
The Indian government further said, “The main issue that has been a point of discussion is the insistence of Pakistan to levy $20 as a service charge per pilgrim per visit. For registration of pilgrims, the online portal (prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in) has gone live on Thursday.
The pilgrims may have to necessarily register themselves online on this portal and exercise their choice to travel on any day.