During a seminar organized by Centre for Social & Economic Progress (CSEP), Aditya Mishra, Chairman of LPAI (Land Ports Authority of India), a statutory body under the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that India will have 24 Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) on land borders by 2025. It will enable better integration of India with the South East Asian region and other regions beyond them.
- Government has already approved all the 24 land ports, out of which 9 are already functional, some are under construction and some are under various stages of development. The number of ICPs is set to at least 20 in the next 2 years.
- ICPs are entry and exit points on India’s land borders, they house various facilities like customs, immigration, and border security, quarantine, among others, within a single facilitation zone.
i.In addition to the ICPs, India is taking steps to ensure that all 90 transit points along the 15,000 km border are covered under standard infrastructure to facilitate all types of trade, transit and travel.
ii.Government is allocating funds for the establishment of ICPs. In January 2021, it released INR 90 crores for ICP at Sabroom, Tripura, which will connect Chittagong port in Bangladesh with the rest of the Northeast.
iii.Increased importance on ICPs is driven by various factors like rising trade between India and neighbouring countries, and the demand from smaller South Asian countries to increase connectivity infrastructure. India’s international obligations also play a major role to strengthen infrastructure at the border.
ICPs in India
India inaugurated its 1st ICP in 2012 at Attari international land border (India-Pakistan border). It was done as part of the efforts to modernise border management infrastructure to facilitate trade and passenger movement.
- During 2019-20, 40% of India’s total land-based trade with Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, and Pakistan took place through 6 inaugurated ICPs at Agartala (Capital of Tripura), Petrapole (West Bengal), Raxaul (Bihar), Jogbani (Bihar), Moreh (Manipur) & Attari (Punjab).
- India’s increased focus on Act East & Indo-Pacific Policy will serve as a boost to prepare a strategy for infrastructure development.
- ICPs should focus on the BBIN (Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal) region to facilitate better connectivity with Bangladesh, since it is India’s major trade partner in South Asia.
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On 2nd February 2021, India and Nepal jointly inaugurated the newly constructed 108 kilometer road which connects the Indo-Nepal border with several areas of Himalayan Country.
About Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI)
Chairman – Aditya Mishra
Head Office – New Delhi