Chidambaram lays foundation stone of Raxaul ICP in Bihar

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Raxaul (Bihar), Apr 24 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram unveiled the foundation stone for construction of an Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Raxaul on the Indo-Nepal border here on Saturday.

Also present on this occasion were Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and other dignitaries.

The setting up of ICPs along India's international border is a major initiative by the Centre as part of a Plan scheme with an initial outlay of Rs.635 crore during the 11th Five Year Plan.

The Raxaul Integrated Check Post is the first ICP in Bihar, and the second in the country after the Attari ICP, where construction has begun.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs. 120 crore. The ICP at Raxaul, spread over nearly 254 acres of land, is expected to be completed by June 2011.

The salient features of the ICP are a modular design, dedicated lanes for each process, separate gates for traffic across the border, least traffic conflicts, self-evident routes, guide signage and administrative and facility area.

The facilities which will be available include: passenger terminal building, currency exchange, internet facility, process building, cargo inspection sheds, warehouse/cold storage, quarantine laboratory, clearing agents, banks scanners, CCTV/PA System, isolation bay, parking cafeteria, and other public utilities.

Three other ICPs will also be set up along the Indo-Nepal border. One of these will be at Jogbani in Bihar, the work of which will start shortly. The other two will be at Rupaidiha and Sunauli in Uttar Pradesh.

The ICPs are envisaged to overcome the infrastructural bottlenecks at the various entry and exit points on the land borders of the country. They are expected to provide facilities for the effective and efficient discharge of sovereign functions such as security, immigration, customs, quarantine, etc. while also providing support facilities for smooth cross-border movement of persons, goods and transport.

A Bill has been introduced in Parliament for the establishment of a Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), which has been envisaged as a statutory body for the planning, construction, maintenance and management of these ICPs.

This body will be vested with powers on the lines of similar bodies like the Airports Authority of India.

Till the LPAI comes into existence, an Empowered Steering Committee has been constituted under the Secretary (Border Management) to undertake the functions that will be ultimately discharged by the LPAI. (ANI)

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