Pak fails to bridge the gap - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Pak fails to bridge the gap

Pak fails to bridge the gap

Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Dera Baba Nanak, December 3

At present, it seems to be a bridge too far. After Pakistan completes work on its 300-m bridge and joins it with India’s 100-m structure next year, only then the Kartarpur corridor will be completed, technically speaking.

On November 9, when the passage was placed in the public domain, it was an incomplete project. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the agency mandated by the Central government to build the venture, had completed the work on the bridge. However, Pakistan, due to security concerns, was disinclined to build its part of the bridge which rendered the Indian structure redundant.

The authorities were left with not much of a choice and, consequently, operationalised the corridor by building a service lane. At present, devotees after going through the mandatory checks at the ICP use the lane to reach the Zero Line from where golf carts ferry them to the Pakistan ICP, 300 m away. The corridor comprises two parts, the road and ICP, which is being built by the Land Ports Authority of India.

The NHAI has contracted a Ludhiana based firm, Ceigall India Limited to build the bridge. Jeetendra Singh, vice-president of the company, said once the Pakistan overpass was complete, the service lane would be disbanded. “We have already started work on establishing a ramp which will join the ICP and bridge. Once completed, people can then travel straight to the Pakistan ICP instead of using the service lane,” he said

Pakistani officials, it is learnt, have given a written undertaking to their Indian counterparts assuring them that they would complete the work on the bridge within a year. Meanwhile, fearing a stampede, the BSF have dismantled the binoculars installed on the raised platform also known as the ‘Darshan Sthal’.

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