Sultanpur Lodhi, Nov 5 : Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, here on Tuesday, ushered in the week-long celebrations of the 550th Prakash Purb of Guru Nanak Dev with an appeal not to indulge in politics or one-upmanship, but to commemorate the event.
He called upon the people to follow the Guru’s teachings of tolerance and harmony to counter the challenges of growing religious intolerance faced by the country. He invited all to participate in the main function on November 12, and also to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.
On the occasion, he also announced a new administrative complex and a Rs 150 crore ring road around the heritage city of Sultanpur Lodhi to enhance its connectivity with other cities. The iconic Quila Sarai, which doubles up as the tehsil administrative office, would be preserved by the state government as heritage building, he said.
Amarinder Singh, along with Cabinet Minister Charnjit Singh Channi, also released four books on Guru Nanak’s philosophy, penned and edited by acclaimed Punjabi writers, including Surjit Patar.
The books “Guru Nanak’s Blessed Trail”, “Guru Nanak Bani”, “Sone Ka Birkh” (The Golden Tree) and “Guru Nanak Dev Ji Life and Relics” have been printed by the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated two exhibitions comprising relics, manuscripts and rare books associated with Guru Nanak’s life.
While one exhibition, put up by the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department, showcases 53 panels depicting the life of the first Sikh Guru, the other has been curated by the Punjab Small Industries Export Corp.
He said the state government had undertaken many infrastructure works in Sultanpur Lodhi and Dera Baba Nanak to turn them into modern heritage towns.
Upgradation and widening of roads, besides construction of new bridges and improvement of hospitals, had been undertaken at a cost of Rs 235 crore, the Chief Minister said. A Rs 100 crore project to develop all 70-odd ‘Pahli Patshahi de Charan Chhoe Prapt Pind’ as model villages with proper amenities has also been initiated.
The Chief Minister said cleaning and lining of the right bank of the holy Bein rivulet had been complete in the Sultanpur Lodhi section at a cost of Rs 11 crore, in partnership with Sant Seechewal.
The state had secured the Centre’s approval to develop Sultanpur Lodhi as a heritage town for Rs 271 crore on the 50:50 sharing basis, and to set up an inter-faith studies centre at the Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar at a cost of Rs 175 crore.
It had also proposed establishment of a Pind Babe Nanak Da, a museum in around 75 acres, at a cost of Rs 300 crore, he added.