Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday reviewed the arrangements for the celebration of the 350th Parkash Utsav of 10th Master of the Sikhs Sri Guru Gobind Singh at Anandpur Sahib on December 24.The Chief Minister, who will himself be attending the celebration, took a series of decisions in consultation with several of his cabinet colleagues and top officials, whom he has directed to make all arrangements to facilitate the devotees travelling to Sri Anandpur Sahib as well as Takht Sri Patna Sahib – the birth place of Guru Sahib Ji.Besides waiving off entry fee for the Khalsa Heritage Museum for two days (December 24-25), the government has decided to run special trains to Patna from Amritsar, Patiala and Bathinda railway stations on December 22. The trains, which will carry around 1500 pilgrims each, will have government officials, as well as doctors and pharmacists, accompanying the passengers on the journey.
Arrangements for ferrying the devotees from the Patna railway station to the Patna Sahib Gurudwara, as well as their stay, are also being made, disclosed an official spokesperson, after the high-level meeting. The spokesperson said an advance party has been sent to Sri Patna Sahib to make preparations for the pilgrims expected to arrive from Punjab.In Punjab, the main event at Anandpur Sahib will witness a series of programmes, including performances by Bhai Baldeep Singh (exponent of Classical Gurbani Kirtan), Punjabi Singer Gurdas Maan, eminent Sikh scholar and musician Dr. Gurnam Singh and Punjabi poet Surjit Patar. Des Raj and Party Raagi Dhadi Jatha, followed by Gurmat Sangeet by Dr. Niveditta Singh and classical recital by Rajan Sajan Mishra are some of the other highlights of the event, which will have a lecture by noted Sikh scholar Bhai Ashok Singh Bagrian and Head of History Department (retd) Panjab University Prof. Dr. Indu Banga.
The Chief Minister has directed the Speaker to personally monitor the arrangements for the programme, expected to be attended by former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.The main event will be preceded by a series of symposiums and exhibitions, to be held across the state, said the spokesperson.The review meeting was attended, among others, by Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha Rana Kanwar Pal Singh, Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Technical Education Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Tejveer Singh, Director General of Police Suresh Arora, DGP (Law and Order) Hardeep Singh Dhillon, Secretary (Political) to CM Capt Sandeep Sandhu, Principal Secretary Food and Civil Supplies KAP Sinha, Secretary Tourism and Cultural Affairs Vikas Partap and Deputy Commissioner Rupnagar Gurneet Kaur Tej.