The Asian Age – India looks to China for speeding-up of Bangalore-Chennai train corridor

The proposal was made at the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) held in Beijing between the two countries.

New Delhi/Beijing, 15 April 2018. India has sought China’s assistance to speed up Bangalore-Chennai railway corridor besides redevelopment of Agra and Jhansi railway stations, a senior Indian official said on Sunday.

The proposal was made at the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) held in Beijing between the two countries.

“We offered them speeding up of Bangalore-Chennai railway corridor,” NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Sunday.

The SED was held between delegations headed by Kumar and He Lifeng, the chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The proposal was made for increasing the speed of the corridor to 150 kmph.

India previously made a proposal to China for the redevelopment of Agra and Jhansi railway station. It has been re-emphasised at Saturday’s talks, officials said.

The Chinese side will respond after considering the proposals, they said.

Kumar said it was pointed out to the Chinese side that the railway station development plan is a big one involving about 600 of them. They can bid for any of them, he said.

However, there was no discussion in the just concluded SED about the collaboration to build high speed trains by China in India, he said.

China has been expressing interest to take up high speed train corridors in India and began conducting a feasibility study for New Delhi and Chennai high speed train corridor.

The first high-speed train corridor in India between Mumbai and Ahmedabad has been bagged by Japan.

China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network, with 22,000 km within the country linking various top cities. – 319th Khalsa Sajna Diwas: Worldwide Sikh Sangat Marks Khalsa Sajna Diwas at Hasan Abdal

Sikh24 Editors

Hasan Abdal – Panjab – Pakistan, 15 April 2018. To celebrate 319th Khalsa Sajna Diwas, a religious procession organized at Gurdwara Panja Sahib situated in Hasan Abdal town of Western Punjab (Pakistan) by the Sikh sangat.

Bhog of Sri Akhand Path Sahib was laid, in which Sikh Sangat from all over Pakistan and parts of East Punjab and India took part.

During the nagar kirtan, students of Bhai Joga Singh Religious School manifested their martial skills in ‘Gatka’ in this religious procession.

Meanwhile, Sikh24 has learnt that Indian pilgrims arrived in Pakistan via train at the crack of dawn on April 13. The Sikh pilgrims took dip in the holy pond of Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib and then enjoyed melodious recitation Gurbani verses during wee hours.

Babar Jalandhari from Hasan Abdal told Sikh24 that about 1700 pilgrims from India have arrived in Pakistan to celebrate Vaisakhi at Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib (Hasan Abdal). He informed that the Evacuee Trust Property Board has made special security arrangements for all the international Sikh pilgrims.

Gent: City Hall – Macharius Kerk

City Hall / Stadhuis
20 February 2018

A beautiful building


Stadhuis and Belfort

Macharius kerk (church)
21 February 2018

Seen from Spaans kasteelplein

A better view of the building

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Nottingham Post – Singing and sword displays as Sikh religious parade brightens city streets

Ben Reid

It marked the festival of Vaisakhi

Nottingham – Nottinghamshire – UK, 15 April 2018. Five temples [Gurdwaras] over four hours, and plenty of noise and colour, this was the colourful picture as a Sikh parade made its way through the streets of Nottingham today (Sunday).

The procession, named the Nagar Kirtan, was celebrating the religious festival of Vaisakhi.

It began in Church Street, Lenton, at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara, and then moved through Radford, Hyson Green, Old Basford and New Basford – visiting another five Gurdwaras, along the way.

The celebrations involved singing, chanting, hymns and commemorative sword displays along to music being played.

Ravinder Patel, 27, from Forest Fields was taking part in the parade.

He said: “This is one of Sikhism’s most important days and I am very proud to be involved. It’s a day of great celebration and respect for everyone.”

Gurmeet Singh is president of the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara where the procession began in Lenton.

He added: “This is a very big time of year for the Sikh community when all Sikhs congregate to celebrate the birth of the Khalsa.”

Vaisakhi  is NOT the Sikh New Year Festival. It commemorates 1699, the year Sikhism was born as a collective faith under the Khalsa.

The Khalsa, the community of all Sikhs, was created by Guru Gobind Singh in 1699 and the five Beloved Ones – or Panji Pyare – who were represented by five Sikhs at the parade.

Harvey Singh, 42, from Radford, was volunteering at the event.

He said: “We do this every year, this is the biggest procession in Nottingham. It’s a great day for our religion.

“I’m honoured to help out in any way I can and the event is going smoothly. There is great respect and love here today.”

Staff from both Notts Police and Notts Fire were on hand to help the smooth running of the parade.

And Himat Taak from Carlton, was driving a minibus that elderly Sikhs could ride in to make sure everyone enjoyed the festivities.

He said: “This is a huge celebration of Sikhism, all over the UK and in India. I am taking our older population for Sewa (an act of kindness without expectation) so everyone can enjoy the celebrations.

The Hindu – Ministry of External Affairs says it is ‘diplomatic discourtesy’ and a clear violation of the Vienna Convention.

Pakistan has violated established diplomatic protocols by preventing visiting Sikh pilgrims from meeting the Indian envoy and other diplomats based in Islamabad, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Sunday.

A press statement issued by the ministry conveyed to Islamabad that by disallowing such a meeting, it has gone against an established convention.

“A standard practice has been that the Indian High Commission’s consular/protocol team is attached with visiting pilgrims, to perform consular and protocol duties, like helping out in medical or family emergencies. However, this year, the consular team has been denied access to Indian Sikh pilgrims.

The team could not meet the pilgrims on their arrival at Wagah Railway Station on April 12. Similarly, it was denied entry into Gurdwara Panja Sahib on April 14, for a scheduled meeting with pilgrims there,” said the official press release.

India said that that by denying the meeting, Pakistan has displayed diplomatic discourtesy and stated, “..these incidents constitute a clear violation of the Vienna Convention of 1961, the bilateral Protocol to visit Religious Shrines, 1974 and the Code of Conduct (for the treatment of diplomatic/consular personnel in India and Pakistan) of 1992, recently reaffirmed by both countries.”

MEA claimed that on April 14, the Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, was not allowed to visit the Gurdwara Panja Sahib.

“The Indian High Commissioner, who was to visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib at the invitation of the Chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), was suddenly asked to return while en route to the shrine for unspecified ‘security’ reasons,” the MEA said.

The Sikh pilgrims are visiting Pakistan as part of the Vaisakhi celebrations which mark the beginning of the Punjabi new year*. As part of a bilateral understanding between two sides, Sikh pilgrims have been visiting Pakistan on important religious and cultural occasions every year. The total number of Sikh visitors visiting Pakistan this year is 1800.

This is the first controversy that has erupted over protocol-related issues after both sides resolved a spat over surveillance of each other’s diplomats. However, Pakistan had also accused India in March of not granting permission to pilgrims to attend the annual festivities at the Shrine of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer.

If people amongst the sangat asked for consular assistance and Pakistan did not allow it, then the MEA has reason to complain. Otherwise I would advise the Delhi sarkar not to meddle in the affairs of the Sikhs.
Man in Blue