Union home minister P Chidambaram, commerce minister Anand Sharma and chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab Shahbaz Sharif are expected to attend the inauguration of the integrated check post at the Attari border on April 13.
Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Badal are also expected on the occasion.
“India is giving a lot of importance to it as this will enhance India-Pakistan trade manifold and increase people-to-people contact. The high-profile delegation reflects India’s seriousness on the project,” a government official said.On the Pakistan side, apart from Sharif, commerce minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim, officials from Islamabad and a media contingent are expected.
The ICP will have passenger and cargo terminals, security and scanning equipment, passenger amenities such as waiting areas, restaurants, rest rooms, duty-free shops, banks and financial services, dormitories for drivers and all related facilities in a single compound.
It is spread over 121 acres (one acre = 43,560 square feet) and built at RS110 crore. It can handle about 600 trucks at a time. Pakistan, on the other hand, has built its ICP over nine acres. Both the ICPs are connected through new gates built by India and Pakistan. Cross-border truck movement has started from the new gates.
India currently exports vegetables, soyabean, meat and some other items to Pakistan, which sends gypsum, dry fruit, rock salt and some other items.
Preparations are in full swing and both the BSF and the local police have increased vigil.
This will be India’s first operational ICP. The country is building 12 more ICPs on its border with Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar.
With inputs from PTI