Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today directed Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal to immediately release Rs 100 crore to manage the development and infrastructural works for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of first Sikh Guru, Nanak Dev.
The chief minister also asked Badal 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 Guru Nanak, an official release said.
Chairing the second executive committee meeting for the 'Prakash Utsav' celebration scheduled for 2019, Singh asked his Principal Secretary to pursue with the Prime Minister's Office, the state's proposal seeking central government grant of Rs 2145 crore for the implementation of various projects on the occasion.
Singh also directed the official to write to the Ministry of External Affairs asking Pakistan for providing free access to Sikh pilgrims to the historic Gurdwara at Sri Kartarpur Sahib, where the first Sikh Guru breathed his last.
Keeping in view the sanctity of the mega-event, Singh agreed to the proposal of releasing prisoners lodged in various jails in the state, as a goodwill gesture, on the basis of their satisfactory conduct.
To chalk out the modalities for the main event on Nov 12, 2019, Singh constituted a four-member committee comprising ministers Navjot Sidhu, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Vijay Inder Singla and Navtej Singh Cheema, the MLA of Sultanpur Lodhi where the main event will take place.
The committee has been mandated to suggest the duration of the main celebrations, besides the time frame and the route of the religious procession from Nankana Sahib via Attari border through Sultanpur Lodhi to Batala and Dera Baba Nanak.
Singh asked the chief secretary to tie up with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to explore the possibility of developing a new township, named Sri Guru Nanak Dev Nagar, around river Beas.
He also suggested holding a global interfaith convention to mark the occasion, with various religious heads being invited to participate.
A a classical music event of 'Gurbani' with top music exponents of the country and abroad too would be organised, he said.
Singh also 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 Guru Nanak Dev, along with seminars and 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 the first Sikh Guru.
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