Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 9, will be inaugurating the Integrated Check Post of the Kartarpur Corridor at Dera Baba Nanak Gurdaspur in Punjab. According to a government press release, PM Modi will pay his respects at the Ber Sahib Gurudwara at Sultanpur Lodhi. After this, he will be participating in a public program at Dera Baba Nanak. The Kartarpur corridor will be open to pilgrims ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev that falls on November 12.
The 4.2-km long Kartarpur corridor is a border corridor between India and Pakistan that will connect the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. The inauguration will facilitate the Indian Pilgrims to visit Gurudwara Kartapur Sahib in Pakistan. Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor and the travel will be visa-free. However, each visitor would be required to pay a fee of USD 20. India had requested Pakistan not to charge the Indian pilgrims but Pakistan refused to waive the fee. India and Pakistan signed the agreement on October 23.
Several facilities have been set up for the dignitaries and pilgrims. According to a release, the state-of-the-art Passenger Terminal Building is akin to an airport that has over 50 immigration counters for facilitating about 5000 pilgrims a day. Further, the terminal building has all the necessary public amenities like kiosks, washrooms, childcare, first aid medical facilities, prayer room and snacks counters, stated the release. A heavy security infrastructure has been set up with CCTV surveillance and public address systems. Apart from visa-free travel, the corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days. They will have a choice to visit the pious location either as individuals or groups. According to reports, India will be sending a list of the number of pilgrims to Pakistan 10 days ahead of the travel date. Further, Pakistan has assured India on the provisions for ‘Langar’ and distribution of ‘Prasad’ for the pilgrims.
According to a release, an online registration portal 'prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in' has been set up for the pilgrims to register their travel dates. Once they register themselves on the portal, a confirmation SMS and an email will be sent to the pilgrims three to four days in advance. Further, the release stated that an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) will also be generated. Reports stated that the pilgrims will need to carry the ETA along with their passport while travelling to Gurudwara Kartapur Sahib in Pakistan.