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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Indian traders offer land for setting up dry port at Attari-Wagah border

The offers come as the Indian Railways have failed to find appropriate land in Amritsar for setting up ICD, a dry port.

punjab Updated: Sep 06, 2018 10:22 IST
Anil Sharma
Anil Sharma
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
(HT File )
         

Indian traders have offered to donate land near the integrated check-post (ICP) at Attari-Wagah border for setting up a rail-linked inland container depot (ICD) to boost bilateral trade.

The offers come as the Indian Railways have failed to find appropriate land in Amritsar for setting up ICD, a dry port.

“Our border traders are ready to purchase land near ICP, which is the most suitable place to set up ICD. I will impress upon railways minister Piyush Goyal and commerce minister Suresh Prabhu to accept the traders’ offer,” Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik said while speaking at a business conclave organised by the ICP Chamber of Commerce here on Wednesday.

Talking to HT, ICP Chamber of Commerce president Mohit Khanna said, “We are ready to purchase land near the ICP, which we will donate to the Indian Railways to build ICD.”

The ICD will provide hassle-free service for import and export of containerised cargo from Attari to Pakistan and vice versa.

Divisional railway manager (DRM), Ferozepur division, Vivek Kumar said, “About six months ago, we had a representation from Container Corporation of India (CONCOR), a public sector undertaking under the railways ministry, for setting up ICD in Amritsar. We tried to find a suitable land for ICD from Amritsar to Attari, but in vain. Now, we will get directions from our ministry to resolve the issue as early as possible.”

“Once the ICD comes up near ICP, we can tie transport containers from India to Pakistan and vice versa with the Samjhauta Express or goods trains,” he said.

At present, thousands of trucks of rice from Punjab and neighbouring states reach Ludhiana every month, which then go all the way to Kandla and Jamnagar ports in Gujarat for export to Pakistan. This entails a very high logistics cost. Attari ICP manager Anurag Tripathi said, “Containerisation of the ICP will solve many problems of Indian importers and exporters, besides, promoting the bilateral trade.”

Truck scanner

Meanwhile, Khanna said within two months, all trucks from Pakistan entering India via the Attari-Wagah border will be scanned by the country’s first full-body truck scanner. The scanner, measuring 32ft x 15ft, is being installed at the Attari ICP by the Land Port Authority of India (LPAI).

For strengthening the security at the ICP, Rs 5 crore has been spent to install high-definition night vision cameras, he said.

“Construction of new sheds for storing export and import material at the ICP is also underway. Besides, 50 lakh-sq ft concrete floor is also being constructed at the ICP,” he added.

First Published: Sep 06, 2018 10:22 IST

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