Srinagar, Seven years after JK Government mooted a proposal requesting ‘Full Body Truck Scanners’ (FBTS) at cross-Line of Control trade points in the state, centre government today said that it has floated global tenders for the purchase of the same.
However, the truck scanners even if purchased are unlikely to be installed any sooner as the government is yet to construct the requisite infrastructure for the installation of FBTS.
“The government is procuring five FBTS for different locations including Poonch-Chakkandabagh and Uri-Salamabad. The government has issued a Global Tender Enquiry for their procurement and is also obtaining clearances from the respective state governments and other nodal agencies,” MoS Home Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Besides the two LoC points, these scanners are also to be installed at Attari (Indo-Pak border), Petrapole (Indo-Bangladesh border), Raxual (Indo-Nepal border).
The proposal was mooted by the state government in 2010. “To ensure that goods coming into state from Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) are properly checked, the state government has recommended to the Centre to procure and install two such scanners,” then Industries and Commerce Minister SS Slathia had said.
The need for it was felt strongly after state police in January 2014 recovered about 114 kilograms of narcotics from a truck, which had come from PaK, at Salamabad Trade Faciliation Centre, Uri.
The incident resulted into a standoff between the authorities of India and Pakistan, resulting in suspension of trade for more than a month.
The cost of construction is about Rs 3 crore he said.
The funds for the construction of the infrastructure are to be routed from the Union Home Ministry under Security Related Expenditure (SRE), sources said.
The procurement process of FBTS could take place about seven month. The authorities though believe that they will be able to construct the setup in this period.
The cost of scanners initially proposed was about Rs 80 crore and it was reported to have gone up to Rs 130 crore.
“In the absence of the scanner the each truck has to be unloaded manually. It’s a tedious and time consuming exercise,” said the custodian TFC.
Security agencies too had been pushing for these scanner for quite some time, sources added.
About 1214 business person are engaged in trade and till last year goods worth Rs 5191 crores were traded since 2008, when it was started