A day before the scheduled launch of the corridor to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, the Delhi government Friday decided to include the Sikh holy site in the circuit of its ‘teerth yatra’ scheme. Under this, the government sponsors pilgrimages of senior citizens to 12 destinations across the country.
The Cabinet gave in-principle nod to the proposal to extend the existing Delhi-Amritsar-Wagah border-Sri Anandpur Sahib route to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot said it will require clearance from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs as well.
Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal said details of the extension will be worked out once the governments of India and Pakistan finalise the modalities. “There are many uncertainties about the fee that will be charged from pilgrims, etc. Once these are finalised, we will also work out the programme under our scheme. The revenue department has been directed to work out details based on the final arrangement between the Indian and Pakistani governments,” he said.
In line with the arrangement in place in case of the other routes, Kejriwal said the Delhi government will bear expenses of the pilgrims in case of Kartarpur Sahib as well, including facilitation fees charged by India or Pakistan.
“On the occasion of the 550th Prakash Parv of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji, the Delhi government has taken the historic decision of including Kartarpur Corridor in the Mukhyamantri Teerth Yatra scheme,” he later tweeted.
Under the scheme, senior citizens are allowed to take one family member with them. Apart from MLAs, Delhi government ministers and the chairman of the Tirth Yatra Vikas Samiti are authorised to issue certificates to applicants.
So far, around 17,000 pilgrims, which include attendants, have undertaken visits funded by the government.