Two years on, ICP does not have full-body truck scanners
After getting assurances from the union home ministry on two occasions, full-body truck scanners are yet to be installed at the Integrated Check Post (ICP) of Attari-Wagah border in the aftermath of several accidents caused due to the manual checking of trucks and smuggling bids of contraband were made.punjab Updated: Jan 19, 2014 21:49 IST
After getting assurances from the union home ministry on two occasions, full-body truck scanners are yet to be installed at the Integrated Check Post (ICP) of Attari-Wagah border in the aftermath of several accidents caused due to the manual checking of trucks and smuggling bids of contraband were made.
In April 2012, the then union home minister P Chidambaram had promised to install the full-body truck scanners at the earliest when he inaugurated the modern ICP, spread over an area of 121 acres of land, with state-of-the-art infrastructure to facilitate trade between India and Pakistan.
However, the ICP still does not have full-body truck scanners, which can help curbing smuggling of narcotics and arms from across the border. At present, the checking is done manually as a result of which several accidents have taken place in the past.
Various NGOs and concerned residents have been demanding for installation of these scanners.
Current home minister Sushilkumar Shinde too had promised the same when he visited the ICP after taking over the charge of the ministry.
Pakistan has already installed scanners at its ICP. In the past, few incidents of smuggling of heroin have been reported into India through trucks.
RTI activist PC Sharma has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking installation of the full-body truck scanners at the earliest.
“There is an urgent need of full-body truck scanners at the ICP, the installation of which was promised two years ago,” Sharma said.
Previously too, he had shot off at least a dozen missives to the Prime Minister in this regard, but his pleas fell on deaf ears. Sharma said the announcement made by the union government to open the border for trade round-the-clock was a good step.
“However, the government has to install the scanners first at the Attari railway station and ICP Attari,” he said. Citing the example of the Singapore Port Authority, which attracts 140,000 vessels annually, Sharma stressed on the need to ensure quality, efficiency, competitiveness and reliability.
“These are the qualities that make the Singapore Port Authority the best and preferred international port. Besides this, honest officers should be deputed at the ICP and Attari railway station,” he said.
SS Katiar, additional commissioner, customs, preventive commissionerate, said, “The project of installing full-body truck scanners is being overseen by the Land Port of Authority of India.”
“While there are serious constraints involved in the project, it would go a long way in checking cross-border smuggling of narcotics, drugs and other contraband,” he said.
Why need scanners
The demand for installation of full-body truck scanners at the Integrated Check Post (ICP) was made after several accidents were caused due to manual checking of trucks
Few incidents of smuggling of heroin into India have been reported through trucks carrying goods
Pakistan has already installed scanners at its integrated check post (ICP)