Gurdaspur: The Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance are in a political tug of war for the credits of the crucial 4.2-km-long Kartarpur Sahib corridor, which on completion will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to pay obeisance at the revered Sikh shrine in Pakistan from India. SAD MLA Bikram Singh Majithia urged the stakeholders involved in establishing the Kartarpur corridor not to politicise the issue. He said the NDA-led central government was extending all possible help to build the passage on time. Majithia, who was speaking to the media, said the present slowdown in the pace of work was due to the unavailability of mining material, including sand and gravel.
“It is the state government’s job to provide sand and gravel from nearby quarrying sites. The Amarinder Singh government is not taking up the matter seriously, which clearly shows that the state government has no interest in getting the corridor operational on time. Recently, Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa wrote to the CM, saying the construction work was suffering as the mining mafia was not allowing sand and gravel to reach the site on time. This clearly proves there are fissures within the Congress. One faction wants the passage to be built while the other does not. I request all stakeholders to refrain from giving political contours to the prestigious project,” Majithia stated.
To this, Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, MLA from Dera Baba Nanak, said work at the site was going on at full pace. “Majithia knows nothing. I would like to know how many times he has visited the site. He is being fed misinformation by people with vested interests who know nothing about the progress being made by the NHAI, Land Ports Authority of India and the Ludhiana-based construction company. He has a knack of speaking the wrong things at the wrong time. The corridor has religious overtures and it will be better if he refrains from giving such statements,” Randhawa maintained.
Meanwhile, Majithia said whatever work had been completed till now was because the Central Government had released funds on time. “The Punjab Government has not released even a single rupee, though its ministers like to revel in glory by visiting the site every now and then and getting photographed. If the corridor gets delayed, it will be the fault of the Punjab Government. I am here not to indulge in any credit war. The corridor belongs to all of us and not to any particular party,” Majithia added.
Randhawa claimed that the mining issues had be resolved and added that Majithia should “first check facts before he speaks.” “Rather than pointing fingers at the pace of work, Majithia should first set his own house in order,” said the Minister.