Days ahead of the July 14 meeting between Indian and Pakistani officials to finalise modalities for operationalisation of the Kartarpur Corridor, the Ministry of Home Affairs called a meeting in North Block Tuesday to discuss opening of a police station at the Passenger Terminal Building (PTB).
The Punjab director general of police, Gurdaspur deputy commissioner, joint secretary (internal security-I), Intelligence Bureau joint secretary, Border Security Force inspector general (operations), customs commissioner, Bureau of Immigration commissioner, Member, Land Ports Authority of India (P&D) have been asked to attend the meeting to be chaired by the secretary (border management).
A Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) official said LPAI facilities and check posts across the country had border guarding forces and having extra security arrangements in place at PTB may have necessitated setting up a police station.
“In Punjab, we have BSF, on India-Nepal border we have Sashastra Seema Bal, on India-Myanmar border we have Assam Rifles as border guarding force at Integrated Check Posts (ICPs). It must be for extra security, otherwise LPAI is a central agency and policing is a State subject,” said the LPAI official.
Batala Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Opinderjit Singh Ghuman told The Indian Express, “We have taken up the matter to have a police station at Passenger Terminal Building. It is on the lines of police stations at airports. There will be a lot of movement of pilgrims through the corridor throughout the day. The proposed police station will have various wings. It is proposed to have quick response teams, law and order wing, traffic wing and the intelligence wing since the passenger terminal is located at the border. The peripheral area would also be manned by Punjab police and all such wings would operate from the proposed police station.”
The meeting on Tuesday will “also discuss establishment of pilgrim facilitation centers” and opening of fire and medical facilities at PTB.
As per the LPAI manager at Attari Integrated Check Post Sukhdev Singh in the first phase — which will be complete by October end, ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev — security infrastructure, utility block, passenger block and parking area are to be constructed. A total of Rs 190 crore had been initially earmarked for the construction of PTB. Another Rs 120 crore is for connecting the existing national highway with a four-lane highway to zero point.
Once operational, the corridor project will allow pilgrims from the Indian side to visit the gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, which is the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev.