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New Delhi, February 20, 2010
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram unveiled the foundation stone for the construction of the first Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari near Amritsar in Punjab today.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and other dignitaries were present at the function which saw the beginning of construction on the first of a series of ICPs that the Government has planned along the country's international border as part of a plan scheme with an outlay of Rs 635 crore during the XIth Five Year Plan.
The cost of the Attari ICP is estimated at Rs 150 crore. Work on the project, spread over nearly 130 acres of land, is expected to be completed by April 2011. It will have a modular design, dedicated lanes for each process, separate gates for traffic across the border, least traffic conflicts, self-evident routes, guide signage and administrative and facility area.
The facilities planned at the ICP include passenger terminal building, currency exchange, internet access, cargo process building, cargo inspection sheds, warehouse/cold storage, quarantine laboratory, clearing agents, banks, scanners, closed circuit television and public address systems, isolation bay, parking areas, cafetaria and other public utilities, the release added.
The Department of Border Management in the Home Ministry has finalized the Detailed Project Reports for 13 ICPs to be set up on the borders between India and Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Myanmar.
The ICPs are envisaged to overcome the infrastructural bottlenecks at the various entry and exit points on the land borders of the country. They are expected to provide facilities for the effective and efficient discharge of sovereign functions such as security, immigration, customs, quarantine, and so on while also providing support facilities for smooth cross-border movement of persons, goods and transport.
The Government has introduced a Bill in Parliament for the establishment of a Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), which has been envisaged as a statutory body for the planning, construction, maintenance and management of these ICPs. This body will be vested with powers on the lines of similar bodies like the Airports Authority of India. Till the LPAI comes into existence, an Empowered Steering Committee has been constituted under the Secretary (Border Management) to undertake the functions that will be ultimately discharged by the LPAI.