Punjab CM directs Finance Minister to release Rs.200 crore for 550th birth celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji

July 12, 2018 08:34 PM

Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday directed the state Finance Minister to immediately release Rs.100 crore for development and infrastructural works for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji.

The Chief Minister has also asked the Finance Minister to make additional budgetary provision of an equal amount in the next fiscal for the development of Sultanpur Lodhi, Dera Baba Nanak and Batala - the holy places visited by Guruji.

Chairing the second executive committee meeting of the State Committee for the Prakash Utsav celebration, Captain Amarinder Singh asked his Principal Secretary to pursue with the Prime Minister’s Office the state’s proposal for central government grant of Rs. 2145 crore for the implementation of various projects on this momentous occasion.

The Chief Minister further said he would write to the Ministry of External Affairs to urge their Pakistani counterpart to allow free access to Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan’s historic Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib, where the first Sikh Guru breathed his last, through a special corridor for at least a week during the period of main celebrations.

Responding to another suggestion by the executive committee, the Chief Minister also directed the Principal Secretary Cultural Affairs to examine the feasibility of running a special train connecting all the five Takhts as a religious tourism circuit.

Keeping in view the sanctity of the mega-event, the Chief Minister agreed to the proposal of Rural Development & Panchayat Minister to release the prisoners lodged in various jails in the state, as a goodwill gesture, on the basis of their satisfactory conduct in accordance with the past practice.

The Chief Minister also constituted a 4-member committee comprising Cabinet Ministers Navjot Sidhu, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Vijay Inder Singla and MLA Sultanpur Lodhi Navtej Singh Cheema to chalk out the modalities for the main function at Sultanpur Lodhi on November 12, 2019. The committee has been mandated to suggest the duration of the main celebrations, besides the timeframe and the route of the religious procession from Nankana Sahib via Attari border through Sultanpur Lodhi to Batala and Dera Baba Nanak. To ensure timely completion of the ongoing development projects, the Chief Minister announced his decision to hold a review meeting every month.

The Chief Minister asked the Chief Secretary to tie up with the Department of Housing & Urban Development to explore the possibility of developing a new township, named as Sri Guru Nanak Dev Nagar, around the Beas. 

Captain Amarinder Singh also suggested holding a global interfaith convention to mark the occasion, with various religious heads being invited to participate. He further suggested a classical music event of Gurbani with top classical music exponents of the country and abroad to be organized on the historic occasion.

Captain Amarinder Singh mooted holding of traditional Kirtan and Kavi darbars, besides an exhibition on the paintings, rare manuscripts and relics to depict the life and philosophy of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, and seminars & paper presentations by eminent scholars and academicians from all over the country. The Chief Minister asked the Department of Cultural Affairs to submit a detailed proposal for various projects, such as short documentary films, coffee table book, travelling exhibition of paintings etc. related to life and philosophy of Guru Nanak Dev ji.

Taking part in the deliberations, Rural Development & Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa offered to spruce up the existing infrastructure, besides beautification, in nearly 40 villages blessed with the visits of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, at a cost of Rs.80 Crores. 

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