Pakistan completes long-awaited bridge at Kartarpur Corridor zero line after 2.5-yr delay

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Lahore, Jul 9 (PTI) Pakistan has finally completed the 420-metre-long bridge at the Kartarpur Corridor zero line after a delay of two-and-a-half years, an official said on Tuesday.

The need for the Kartarpur bridge arose from the vulnerability of the zero-line area to flooding, emphasising the importance of constructing a safe and secure passage for the visitors of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Management Unit Deputy Secretary Saifullah Khokhar told PTI.

"We have completed the bridge from our side on the zero-line Kartarpur Corridor. Now it is up to India to complete its side of the bridge, especially a 10-feet disputed one," he said.

"The bridge will be functional once the Indian side is completed," Khokhar added.

Earlier, flooding incidents had disrupted visitors' movements to the Kartarpur Sahib.

The first deadline to complete the construction of the 420-metre-long bridge was December 2021. The construction works, however, had come to a halt temporarily because of some financial constraints and political issues.

The Public Development Fund funded the project with an estimated cost of PKR 4.53 million. The Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and National Engineering Services of Pakistan (Nespak) collaborated to carry out the construction.

In November 2019, then Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor at a ceremony, paving the way for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their religion's holiest sites in Pakistan without needing a visa.

The 4-km-long Kartarpur corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in India's Punjab state.

Khan has been in jail since August last year in multiple cases registered against him by the military-backed Shehbaz Sharif government. PTI MZ SCY AKJ SCY SCY

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