LAHORE - Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has announced to increase the area of Gurdawara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur from three acres to 42 acres and further announced not to build structures on the land which remained under the cultivation of Baba Guru Nanak.

Briefing media during his visit to Kartarpur Corridor on Tuesday, the Punjab governor said that total land of the Corridor would be 408 acres.

FWO Project Director Colonel Nadeem, Brigadier Atif, NESPAK officers and officials of other departments briefed Chaudhry Sarwar about the progress made on the project so far. Commissioner Gujranwala, DC Narowal, DPO Narowal, RPO Gujranwala Tariq Qureshi, Kamran Lashari, Pervaiz Qureshi and others were also present on the occasion.

Chaudhry Sarwar inspected the pace of construction work on Gurdawara Darbar Sahib and Kartarpur Corridor for more than an hour and lauded the performance of FWO and other departments.

The governor said Pakistan wanted that Indian Prime Minister Narendara Modi also attend the inaugural ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor. “The FWO and other departments have completed 80 percent work on the corridor in months which, otherwise, could have taken years to complete,” he added.

Ch Sarwar said that work on the corridor would be completed in October this year before the 550th birth celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak. “As many as 5,000 Sikh yatrees, having valid visas, will be provided lodging facilities at Kartarpur,” the governor added.

Ch Sarwar made it clear that Sikh yatrees coming from India would have to return in the given time.

He said it was a good omen that second round of Pak-India talks on the Kartarpur Corridor remained successful.

He hoped that India would also complete work on the Corridor on its side in the given time.

“We want to give message to the Sikhs living in different parts of the world that no cut will be made in the land reserved for Gurdawara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur,” Ch Sarwar said, and added, “Rather 42 acres land had been allocated for Gurdawar Darbar Sahib and 62 acres for cultivation. In this way, total land for Gurdawar Darbar Sahib will be 104 acres,” he explained. 

The Punjab governor further said that special transport would be provided to the Sikh pilgrims from India from the checkpoint to Darbar Sahib. “Work is underway on three lungar Khanas at Darbar Sahib where the Sikh yatrees would be provided quality meal and other facilities,” he said.

Ch Sarwar further said that the Sikh yatrees coming from UK, USA and other countries on valid visas would be permitted to stay here as structures were being built to accommodate them. “5,000 Sikh yatrees will stay at one time,” the governor informed.

To a question, he said that a committee he was heading was making all-out efforts for the promotion of religious tourism in the country as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan. “Four federal ministers including federal minister for religious affairs, three provincial ministers and officers of relevant departments are also part of the committee,” Ch Sarwar said, and added, “God willing, we will generate 4 to 5 billion dollars through tourism.”