External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar (File photo)
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar (File photo)

India to complete Kartarpur project 'expeditiously', denies delay in work

ANI | Updated: Jul 11, 2019 18:06 IST

New Delhi [India], July 11 (ANI): India on Thursday said that it is trying to complete building the Kartarpur corridor "expeditiously," refuting reports that it was lagging in the construction work while Pakistan had completed much of it.
"We want the project to be expeditiously completed. As far as infrastructure is concerned, works on two important aspects, on state-of-the-art passenger terminal and on the four-lane highway which is going to connect Zero Point of Kartarpur corridor to the national highway are ongoing," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in his weekly briefing.
"We are hopeful that the work on these two projects will be completed in time; one by September 2019 and the other by October 2019. So reports, which say that that we are slow in terms of finishing our projects, are not the correct depiction," he stressed.
On Tuesday, government sources said nearly 45 per cent of the work on a four-lane highway connecting Zero Point of the corridor up to National Highway 354 has already been completed by the National Highway Authority of India.
Punjab Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who is the head of the Kartarpur Development Project, had claimed on Monday that Pakistan had completed more than 70 per cent of work, while India was still lagging behind with just about 30 per cent completed.
Indian and Pakistani officials are slated to meet on July 14 during which issues related to providing facilities for pilgrims along the corridor will be discussed.
"We have taken it up with Pakistan in the past not only on infrastructure-related points, including the construction of a bridge. I think there is some discussion going on whether there should be a bridge or a paved road and even on other aspects," Kumar said.
The two sides will also discuss the issue of the number of pilgrims being allowed, the sources had said.
India has raised concern regarding the possible flooding of Dera Baba Nanak due to the construction of an embankment-filled road on the Pakistani side.
India is already building a bridge on its side to provide all-weather connectivity for the Kartarpur corridor. Pakistan has also been urged to build a similar bridge on their side as it would provide safe and secure movement of the pilgrims while also addressing the concern regarding flooding. (ANI)