FBTS failure pushes back ICP Attari to manual truck scanning

Though the trade ties between India and Pakistan have been suspended since the Pulwama attack, the Attari border in Punjab is still the route for trucks from Afghanistan to enter India via Pakistan. On an average, nearly 25-30 trucks of dry fruits and herbal material from Afghanistan cross over the Attari border daily through the Attari-Wagah Integrated Check Post (ICP). In order to scan these trucks, a Full Body Truck Scanner (FBTS) had been installed at the ICP in September 2021.

Full Body Truck Scanner at Attari-Wagah ICP

The FBTS recently witnessed a technical snag – one among the many since its installation – due to which the ICP has been pushed back to manual truck scanning for illegal commodities. The FBTS, costing a whopping INR 23 crore, scans trucks using X-Ray technology and detects arms & ammunition, explosives, detonators and even radio-active material stored inside them. With specific adjustments, the scanner is also able to detect fake currency and narcotics. However the technical snag has impaired the FTBS’ ability to sense the alignment, calibration and scan images of the truck(s).

The ICP is under the custody of Land Port Authority of India (LPAI). An official of the LPAI revealed that the scanner was not in use currently due to the technical snag and the final call on it will be taken by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), though there hasn’t been any word from them yet.

The FBTS presently installed at ICP, Attari, by the LPAI is not functional. It is learnt that the same has now been scrapped by them. We will be taking up the matter for installation of a new FBTS at ICR, both with the LPAI and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs.”

Rahul Nangare, Commissioner (Customs)

The Customs’ Department has expressed their resentment to the FBTS failure to the LPAI and demanded an efficient and reliable system to be installed at the ICP. It needs to be taken into consideration that Punjab shares a 553-km long border with Pakistan and narcotics are routed through the infamous Golden Triangle from Afghanistan and Pakistan to India.

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