New Delhi: Chairman of the National Minority Commission, Iqbal Singh Lalpura, expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for sanctioning a ropeway project from Govindghat to Hemkund Sahib, saying, “By meeting a long pending request of the Sikh community, Narendra Modi has, once again, showing his love for the community that translates into his understanding their sentiments and taking affirmative action towards meeting their religious and social aspirations. The Sikh community feels that the prime minister is one of their own” Lalpura, who is also a lifetime patron of the Global Punjabi Association (GPA), stated that the approval of a ropeway between Govindghat and Hemkund Sahib was welcomed by the Sikh and Punjabi communities around the world.
According to army veteran Col. (retd.) Jaibans Singh, the ropeway sanctioned between Govindghat and Hemkund Sahib would serve a dual purpose of facilitating pilgrimage to such disciples who were unable to make the long journey on foot and providing a significant boost to the region’s economy. Dr Jaswinder Singh Dhillon, a Sikh intellectual, stated, “”It will widen the opportunity for the people of India to connect with their invaluable heritage. We cannot thank the Prime Minister enough for his noble gesture.”
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Former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, Paramjit Singh Sarna, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement came as a huge relief to the elderly people who wanted to pay their respects at Hemkund Sahib but couldn’t make the trip. “Now the ropeway will fulfil their dreams, and they will be able to travel up to Hekmund Sahib without difficulty,” Sarna said. Dr Avtar Singh, Chairman of the Amandeep Group of Hospitals, stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has shown his respect for the Sikh religion and love for the Sikh people by taking an active interest in community affairs, such as the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, the celebration of the birth centenaries of Sikh Gurus, and now the sanctioning of the ropeway project.
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Currently, pilgrims to Hemkund Sahib begin their journey at Gurdwara Gobind Ghat, spend the night at Gurdwara Gobind Dham, and arrive at Hemkund Sahib the next day, resulting in a three-day arduous journey that not everyone can undertake, despite their desire. The 12.4-kilometre-long ropeway will connect Govindghat and Hemkund Sahib, cutting travel time to about 45 minutes. It will also stop at Pind Pullana, Gurdwara Gobind Dham, and Hemkund Sahib Ghangaria, which serves as the entrance to Valley of Flowers National Park.