Billion to be spent on restoring temples, gurdwaras: report


TAXILA: Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) will be spending Rs1 billion on the maintenance and restoration of various temples and gurdwaras in order to make Sikh pilgrims more comfortable, reported a local media outlet.

This was said by the board’s acting chairman, Tariq Khan Wazir on Monday.

Speaking to media personnel at the Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal, he said the government had launched a program for improving the facilities available to Sikh pilgrims. Under the development plans, 136 rooms will be constructed at Gurdwara Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib at the cost Rs437 million. Canadian Karsewa, a volunteer group from Canada, will also be building 50 rooms in Nankana Sahib. Fifty rooms will also be constructed at Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal and Gurdwara Kartarpura Sahib in Narowal.

Restoration and maintenance work will be carried out in Aimanabad Gurdwara, Gujranwala and Rs600 million will be spent on restoring various Hindu temples.

Licenses will be issued to four tour operators after their security clearance from the interior ministry in order to promote Sikh religious tourism.

Mr Wazir said ETPB is planning on relaxing the visa policy for Sikh pilgrims from across the world. The 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak will be observed next year in which over 20,000 pilgrims will take part.