WION New Delhi, Delhi, India
Feb 05, 2019, 06.40 PM
The second major inter-agency coordination meet on the Kartapur Corridor took place on Tuesday at the Ministry of Home Affairs with authorities saying India was hopeful of sending a draft of the plan to Pakistan within a month.
Tuesday's meet was chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and attended by the Punjab chief secretary, the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria, and the BSF Director General RK Misra.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh said, "All concerned GOI stakeholders and Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria attended the meeting. We discussed on aspects of the agreement that we want to finalise with Pakistan. We are hopeful that we will send the draft proposal to Pakistan and complete legal modalities within a month."
He also confirmed that the land acquisition process has started.
"Land acquisition work is in progress. This involves four stages, we are in the second stage as of now. We are hopeful that in a month and a half we will complete this process," Singh said
Top sources told WION that land acquisition for a highway and an integrated checkpost (ICP) was discussed at Tuesday's meeting. On Wednesday, February 6, India will issue a notification to acquire land for the ICP with a detailed plan for it is being finalised within the next few days.
A preliminary notification for land acquisition for the highway has already been issued.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) will be constructing the highway and the ICP, with the Punjab government assuring the availability of land for them by mid-march.
The first meet on the corridor took place on January 15.
India shared coordinates of the corridor's Zero Point (crossing point) along the International Border with Pakistan on November 22. New Delhi has also invited a Pakistani delegation to India to discuss and finalise the modalities of the corridor and suggested two sets of dates — February 12 and March 7, 2019.
Pakistan has not yet responded.
The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, lived for 18 years in Pakistan's Kartarpur gurudwara.
India approved the building of the Kartarpur Corridor last year so that pilgrims can easily visit the gurudwara to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak this year. Pakistan later announced that it would also build, on its side of the border, a corridor from the Kartarpur gurudwara to the international border.
India's Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for the corridor on the Indian side of the border on November 26, 2018 while Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor on the Pakistani side on November 28.
The second major inter-agency coordination meet on the Kartarpur Corridor took place Tuesday at the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.