Trucks waiting at the Petrapole ICP. Photo: Debasish Bhaduri

New Delhi, India (BBN) – The Home Ministry will move a Cabinet note to construct seven integrated check-posts (ICPs) along the Bangladesh border to give a fillip to trade and business with the neighbouring country.

In all, 13 such check-posts have been planned, seven of them along the Bangladesh border, reports The Hindu.

The project was envisaged in 2007. A separate body — the Land Port Authority of India (LPAI) — was constituted in 2011 to boost trade via the land border points.

A senior Home Ministry official said the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) was studying the proposal estimated to cost ₹5,000 crore. “Once the EFC gives the green signal, the proposal will be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for final clearance,” said the official.

The ICPs planned along the Bangladesh border are at Hili, Changrabandha, Ghojadanga, Mahadipur and Fulbari in West Bengal, Kawripuichhuah in Mizoram and Sutarkandi in Assam.
Eventually, 19 ICPs are expected to come up along the Bangladesh border. Besides the seven in West Bengal, three will be in Assam, two in Meghalaya and seven in Tripura.
An ICP has several facilities such as passenger terminal building, currency exchange counter, Internet hubs, cargo process building, cargo inspection sheds, warehouse, cold storage, quarantine laboratory, clearing agents, banks, vehicle scanners, isolation bay, parking and cafeteria.
Five ICPs — at Attari in Punjab (along the Pakistan border), Petrapole in West Bengal (Bangladesh border), Akhaura in Tripura (Bangladesh), Raxaul in Bihar (Nepal) and Jogbani in Bihar (Nepal) — are already functional.
“ICPs help put in place a system to secure the country’s borders against hostile elements. It also facilitates trade and commerce and boosts revenue,” said the official.
The official said currently various departments work in silos. “There are many vehicles waiting to cross over to Bangladesh or waiting to enter India that are stuck for over 20 days due to lack of clearance from customs or immigration authorities.
An ICP would help eliminate such unnecessary delays,” said the official.