Punjab seeks special International flights to Amritsar during 550th Prakash Purb celebrations

Approves schedule of activities from November 1 to 15 to mark historic event

As Punjab gears up for the mega celebration of the 550th birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday sought more flights to Amritsar from countries with strong Punjabi population, even as he approved the schedule of activities being organized to mark the historic event.

The Chief Minister has written to Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, urging him to prevail upon international airline operators, including Air India, to schedule more special international flights to Amritsar, in order to facilitate Khule Darshan Didar during the historic occasion.

Captain Aamrinder Singh, in his letter, said that more flights by from countries like UK, Canada, USA, Germany besides Italy, Australia and New Zealand, during the celebrations, would facilitate devotees from across the globe to visit and pay obeisance at Sultanpur Lodhi and Dera Baba Nanak, amongst other religious places in the state.

Pointing to the massive enthusiasm amongst the Punjabi diaspora for the Prakash Purb, to be celebrated on November 12, 2019, the Chief Minister said “we all were blessed to be witnessing this momentous occasion in our lifetimes.” The state and its people were all geared up to celebrate the iconic moment in befitting manner to commemorate the memory of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the Chief Minister said, adding that elaborate programmes, as well as infrastructural and development projects dedicated to Guru Sahib’s memory, had been designed for the occasion.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister, while reviewing the schedule of the activities to be held from November 1 to 15, has asked the Chief Secretary to issue necessary directions to all the departments for carrying the official logo of the 550th Prakash Purb on all stationery of the State Government during the celebration period.

The high-level review meeting decided that a Group of Ministers, Members of Parliament and MLAs of Doaba region would jointly welcome the maiden special Intercity Express train arriving from New Delhi at Sultanpur Lodhi on October 4. It was also decided that the main events would be held in the historic cities of Sultanpur Lodhi, Dera Baba Nanak and Amritsar. An international conference on Guru Nanak’s philosophy of Peace, Harmony and Human Happiness would be organised at Chandigarh in the first week of November.

The Chief Minister emphasised the need to chalk out an elaborate plan for the facilitation of the Sangat so that they could attend the mega celebrations without hindrance. The main event would be organised at Sultanpur Lodhi on November 12, with the Multi Media and Sound Show near the main Pandal to continue till November 15.

It was also decided in the meeting that the Digital Museum will be the centre of attraction on November 1 to 3, along with the light and sound shows at Sultanpur Lodhi. On November 4, a multi media light and sound show would be inaugurated at Sultanpur Lodhi in the evening. On November 5, exhibitions on Guru Nanak Dev Ji and a handicrafts exhibition would be inaugurated near the main pandal.

The international conference on Guru Nanak’s Philosophy of peace, harmony and human happiness would be organised on November 7 at Chandigarh. The foundation stone of the National Institute of Inter-Faith Studies at GNDU would be laid on November 8, with an Ik-Noor Inter Faith conclave in GNDU.

The Guru Nanak Dev Ji Utsav at Dera Baba Nanak would also be inaugurated on the same day, followed by a light and sound show, the Guru Nanak Literature Festival, the Guru Nanak Art Festival, the Guru Nanak Kavi Darbar in all Indian Languages, the Guru Nanak Theatre Festival and Guru Nanak Film Festival.

After the proposed opening of Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, the Chief Minister would felicitate 550 prominent personalities of all walks of life at Guru Nanak Dev Auditorium in Kapurthala, according to an official spokesperson. The Guru Nanak Literature Festival and other major events would be held at Dera Baba Nanak on November 10.

The Chief Minister also directed the Principal Secretary Tourism and Cultural Affairs to get the names of the various pandals, being set up at Sultanpur Lodhi and Dera Baba Nanak, finalized at the earliest.

The meeting was attended by Rural Development and Panchayats Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Cooperation and Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Higher Education Minister OP Soni, CM’s Media Advisor Raveen Thukral, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary Home Satish Chandra, DGP Dinkar Gupta, DGP Intelligence V.K. Bhawra, Principal Secretary Tourism Vikas Pratap, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh and Director Tourism M.S. Jaggi.