Attari, Apr 13 (ANI): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday inaugurated the first Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari in the presence of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma and Pakistan Commerce Minister Makdoom Amin Fahim.
While speaking to mediapersons, Chidambaram said that the ICP will help facilitate smooth trade between the India and Pakistan apart from strengthening people to people contact.
He appealed to people of Pakistan to make use of this new ICP and its facilities.
The ICP, which spreads over an area of 118 acres has been built at a cost of about Rs. 150 crores.
The facility consists of 16 immigration counters and 12 customs counters on arrival and departure side of Passenger terminal building.
It also has a dedicated cargo terminal building measuring upto 4700 sq. m, import ware house measuring 7400 sq m. an export ware house measuring 3400 sq. mts. and parking space for trucks measuring 55000 sq. m. for efficient cargo processing.
Operationalization of ICP Attari aims to reduce passenger and freight-processing time paving way for enhanced people to people contact and expansion of trade between the two countries.
It also seeks to provide employment and business opportunities for the local population and contribute to area development, and highlighting India's desire for progressive, productive and mutually beneficial relationship with its neighbouring countries.
ICPs are being constructed as a Plan scheme with an initial outlay of Rs.635 crore during the 11th Five Year Plan. In the initial phase, 13 ICPs have been envisaged at major designated entry/exit points along India's international land border.
Seven ICPs, out of these 13 ICPs are to be constructed in Phase I and six ICPs in Phase II. ICP Attari is the first to be completed and four ICPs (Raxaul and Jogbani in Bihar, Agartala in Tripura and Petrapole in West Bengal) are in various stages of construction.
A statutory body, the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), established in March this year, is the overarching organization to oversee the construction, management and maintenance of these ICPs. (ANI)
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