Pakistan has reportedly refused to construct their side of a bridge on the cross-border elevated corridor to Kartarpur Darbar Sahib from Gurdaspur in Punjab. Islamabad, instead, has plans for an alternate road connecting to India which pilgrims will use for the first time on November 8.
India and Pakistan had agreed to build a bridge at the Budhi-Ravi channel on the border between the two nations.
Chairman, Land and Port Authority of India Govind Mohan said work on the four-lane highway and the passenger terminal, which would accommodate 5,000 pilgrims, will be completed by October-end.
Last year, Pakistan said it would open the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur - one of the holiest shrines of the Sikhs - to pilgrims from India. The shrine had been closed to Indian pilgrims after the surgical strikes on terror launchpads across the Line of Control. It was also decided to build the proposed corridor connecting the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib to Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district.
According to media reports, an alternative road is being built up to the zero point due to the unavailability of the bridge and the road on the Pakistan side.
The slow progress of the work in Pakistan is visible from the Indian side. No work is being conducted on the road that's expected to connect to the four-lane highway on the Indian side, or the bridge across the Budhi-Ravi channel.
India is building a state-of-the-art passenger terminal with a facilitation centre to host government officials responsible for ensuring hassle-free travel of pilgrims at the spot near the zero point.
It will be complete with food kiosks, parking areas and security points and is expected to be ready by November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi will formally inaugurate the much-awaited Kartarpur corridor.
Pakistan will provide transport up to the zero point to pick up pilgrims on their side of the facilitation centre and to drop them back. A total of 55 immigration counters are being set up at the passenger terminal.
There will be no visa requirements, but the pilgrims will have to carry their passports. Pilgrims will only have to obtain a permit to visit the revered gurdwara in Pakistan. Persons of Indian origin holding Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards too can visit the Gurdwara using the Kartarpur corridor.