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Centre sanctions Rs 40 crore to install truck scanners at Attari border

Upgrade: Presently, sniffer dogs check the trucks, which is not 100% reliable

punjab Updated: Oct 12, 2017 16:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Rs 40 crore,truck scanners,Attari border
High-definition CCTV cameras, costing Rs 5 crore, are also being installed at the Attari Border.(HT File )

The integrated check post (ICP) at Attari Border is all set to be high-tech as the Union government has sanctioned an amount of Rs 40 crore for installing two full-body truck scanners, said Rajya Sabha MP (member Parliament) Shwait Malik.

International trade across the Indo-Pak border is undertaken through the ICP that was opened on April 13, 2012. For its technological upgrade, high definition digital closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, costing Rs 5 crore, are being installed.

“The old method also wasted a lot of time, causing hundreds of trucks to wait in long queues.”

MP Malik, who met with Union minister of State for home affairs Kiren Rijiju, said that Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Rijiju are supporting with him in boosting border trade. They have approved installation of security apparatus for trucks’ full-body scanning at the ICP, at the cost of Rs 40 crore.

One scanner will be used to check goods to be exported and the other for goods to be imported. The MP said that the demand for the installation of truck scanners was pending since 2005. “Presently, the tracks are checked with the help of sniffer dogs. This check is not 100% reliable as sometimes, even after these checks, drugs and weapons have been recovered from trucks. This puts the security of the nation at risk,” he said.

“Apart from this, the old method also wasted a lot of time, causing hundreds of trucks to wait in long queues, for days, creating traffic congestion and losses in trade,” the MP added.

The minister claimed that he as repeatedly raised the issue in the Parliament. “When a country like Pakistan, despite its fractured economy, can set up security scanners at the border, why should we compromise with national security?” he said.

“In future, Rs 100 crore will be spent on developing infrastructure including concrete open perch (for storage and safety of loose cargo) and a covered shed (for imported goods such as cement, gypsum, soda ash and dry fruits),” he said. The ICP Chamber of Commerce president Mohit Khanna, said, “It is heartening to see that sincere efforts are being made pertaining to cross-border trade. The scanner will increase the turnaround time of trucks, which will then increase the trade volume,” he said. Members of the Chamber welcomed the move.

First Published: Oct 12, 2017 16:15 IST