7 integrated check posts at int'l borders to be set up in Bengal
KOLKATA: Giving 'utmost priority' to border security, a major decision to set up seven Integrated Check-Posts (ICPs) in Bengal has been taken at the high-level meeting between Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and the top brass of the Bengal administration on Friday.
Besides ensuring better border security, setting up of the ICPs will boost trade and commerce with the neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi, Home Secretary BP Gopalika, Director General of Police Manoj Malaviya and Secretary of the Land and Land Reforms department Smaraki Mahapatra attended the meeting on behalf of the state government at New Town's Hidco Bhavan.
The ICPs will be set up to carry out all border security-related tasks starting from immigration to custom procedures under one umbrella. The ICP for the Indo-Nepal border will be set up at Panitanki in Darjeeling while another for the Indo-Bhutan border will be set up at Jaigaon in Alipurduar.
The remaining five are for the Indo-Bangladesh border. The same will come up at Changrabandha in Cooch Behar, Phulbari in Jalpaiguri, Hili in South Dinajpur, Mahadipur in Malda and Gojadanga in North 24-Parganas.
The land-related issues for the ICPs at Hili and Changrabandha have already been settled. As a result, the Union Home Secretary has pitched for initiation of the work to construct the ICPs in these two places at the earliest. The ICPs at Hili and Changrabandha will come up on plots measuring 75 acres and 90 acres respectively.
In case of the remaining five ICPs, officers from the land port authorities will be conducting surveys and subsequently the land — where the same will be developed — will be identified.
Bengal being the gateway of the North East, setting up of the ICPs will ensure better trade and commerce with the neighbouring countries and it will help in the development of the economy in the region.
The issues of setting up border outposts and fencing along the porous border have also come up in the meeting.
Stress has been given on the completion of the administrative works and payment-related issues between the BSF and Central Public Works Department with concerned district authorities for land to set up infrastructure for border security. The approval has been given already to complete the fencing along the 182 out of the remaining 289 km stretch along the international border. Directions have been given to complete the procedure to settle the land-related issue for the same at the earliest, sources said.