Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced that he would personally review the progress of the preparations for the celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji every fortnight.
Presiding over the executive committee meeting to review the arrangements for the mega event, he said he would convene a meeting on the 1st and 15th of every month for the purpose.
The Chief Minister also directed the Cabinet Sub Committee comprising Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to monitor the progress on daily basis and update him accordingly.
The meeting decided to organise the main function on November 12, 2019 at Sultanpur Lodhi, where Guru Ji spent nearly 18 years of his life. He also gave approval to start Bebe Nanki Government College for Girls in Sultanpur Lodhi from the already existing Guru Nanak Dev University Regional Campus Fattu Dhinga as a constituent of the university. The Vice Chancellor of GNDU had requested the Chief Minister to take over this state-of-the-art regional centre to enable commencement of classes from the current academic session.
Captain Amarinder also asked the Rural Development and Panchayats Department to sanction funds to the tune of at least Rs. 20-25 lakh to each village in the first phase under the plan to develop 41 villages visited by Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji during his lifetime.
The Chief Minister asked the Cultural Affairs and Tourism Department to extend an invite to all prominent academicians, dignitaries, politicians, religious personalities and eminent Punjabis settled across the world for the celebrations. He also directed the ACS Home to ensure foolproof security for the millions of devotees who were expected to pay obeisance at the historic Sultanpur Lodhi gurdwaras.
ACS Housing and Urban Development told the meeting that the firm which had put up a tented city at Patna Sahib during the 300-year birth celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh ji had been engaged for making elaborate arrangements for tented accommodation facility at different locations within Sultanpur Lodhi for approximately 25000 to 30,000 people, which could be enhanced to nearly 40,000 people.
The meeting discussed the conservation of the historical monument at Sultanpur Lodhi, for which tenders has already been floated by the Department of Cultural Affairs and work was slated to be completed by September 30, 2019.
Acceding to the request of Cabinet Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for the identification of a Guru Nanak Marg, the Chief Minister gave approval to develop the route from Sultanpur Lodhi to Dera Baba Nanak via Dhilwan, Rayya, Baba Bakala, Chowk Mehta and Batala, on which the Nagar Kirtan on the auspicious occasion of Viah Babe Nanak Da is carried out annually.
Meanwhile, the Principal Secretary Transport informed the meeting that the department was in touch with Ministry of Railways for plying of special trains to Punjab from across the country, and particularly from places having large Sikh population.
The Chief Minister also gave approval to the Punjab State Industries and Export Corporation to get commemorative coins of 5 gm Gold and 50 gm Silver coins through Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India for this auspicious occasion.
ACS Forests apprised the Chief Minister that the process of planting 550 saplings in each village of the state would be completed by September 30, 2019. A total of 75 lakh plants would be provided by the State Forests Department and the area to be planted would be provided under MNREGA Scheme by the Rural Development Panchayats. Principal Secretary PWD B&R also informed that the development works including widening and strengthening of roads, two new bridges and two new foot over bridges to be constructed over holy Kali Bein near Gurdwara Ber Sahib on Sultanpur Lodhi-Fattu Dhinga road at a cost of Rs. 9.44 crore would be completed well in time.
Regarding the stone pitching on the stretch of Kali Bein passing through Sultanpur Lodhi, the Principal Secretary Water Resources informed that work on this project through Kar Sewa would be initiated soon by noted environmentalist Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, and material worth Rs. 3.86 crore would be supplied by the Department. It was also informed in the meeting that a sub-committee constituted under the chairmanship of Surjit Patar was already working to publish a coffee table book in Punjabi, Hindi and English, which would be finalized soon. Likewise, two books on the relics of Guru Nanak Dev Ji were being prepared by Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar and another book on the Bani of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji was being complied by Punjabi University Patiala, which would be ready by June 20, 2019.
Prominent amongst those present in the meeting were Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Higher Education Minister Razia Sultana, Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Transport Minister Aruna Chaudhary, PWD Minister Vijay Inder Singla, MP Gurdaspur Sunil Jakhar, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, MLA Sultanpur Lodhi Navtej Singh Cheema, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, DGP Dinkar Gupta, ACS Home Nirmal Singh Kalsi, ACS Housing and Urban Development Vini Mahajan, ACS Forests Roshan Sunkaria, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tiwari, Principal Secretary Local Government A Venu Prasad, Principal Secretary Rural Development and Panchayats Anurag Verma and Deputy Commissioner Kapurthala DPS Kharband.