No headway on installation of Full Body Truck Scanners at Cross-LoC trade points

Customs, JKP yet to start rotation of staff on 6 monthly basis
Deadline for completion of CCTVs fitting work missed
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Sept 2: No headway has been made on the installation of much-needed Full Body Truck Scanners at Cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade points in Jammu and Kashmir while as deadline for putting in place Close Circuit Televisions (CCTVs) system has been missed due to delay in completion of procedural formalities.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that while reviewing the issues relating to Cross-LoC trade and to make further improvements in the existing system and procedures the then Governor N N Vohra on July 17, 2018 had issued a number of directions for strict and time bound compliance by all the concerned authorities.
In the meeting, stress was laid on early installation of Full Body Truck Scanners by providing land and other related assistance to the agencies engaged by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for the task. However, no headway could be made on this aspect till date as the agency shortlisted by the MHA for the task has yet not come forward to start the work.
“This is notwithstanding the fact that Industries and Commerce Department has already made available land for installation of scanners at Trade Facilitation Centres at Salamabad in Uri and Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch”, sources said, adding “even National Investigation Agency (NIA) has cleared sites for installation of scanner at both these places from security point of view”.
They disclosed that State Government has been communicated through Industries and Commerce Department that agency selected by the MHA has desired to start work after completion of monsoon season.
It is pertinent to mention here that decision about installation of Full Body Truck Scanners was taken several years back on the request of the security agencies but completion of procedural formalities has taken unreasonably long time.
In the meeting, the then Governor had issued directions for completion of CCTVs system installation process at Chakan-Da-Bagh and Salamabad by September 2018. However, this deadline has been missed at both the Cross-LoC trade points, sources disclosed, adding “while CCTV installation work is apace at Chakan-Da-Bagh the same has yet not picked up momentum at Salamabad till date”.
The then Governor had also directed the Director General of Police and Directors of Industries and Commerce Kashmir/Jammu that they shall ensure rotation of staff posted at both the Cross-LoC trade points on six monthly basis. “It shall be ensured that such officials are not posted at Trade Facilitation Centres whose integrity is doubtful or where relatives are engaged in LoC trade”, he had told the officers explicitly.
“Though Industries and Commerce Department has started rotation of staff as per the directions of the then Governor yet Jammu and Kashmir Police has not started acting on this aspect”, sources said while stressing that similar directions are also required to be issued to the Customs Department, which too has posted staff at both the Cross-LoC trade points.
They further disclosed that as per the decision taken in the meeting Directors of Industries and Commerce of Kashmir and Jammu have furnished details of all the traders involved in Cross-LoC trade to the CID Wing of Jammu and Kashmir Police for verification of their antecedents.
“No time-frame can be specified for completion of this exercise for being time consuming”, sources said. However, LoC trade process has been computerized and roaster declaration is being made online as per the decision taken in the meeting chaired by the then Governor N N Vohra.
It is pertinent to mention here that the objective behind special re-verification drive through CID is aimed at ensuring that traders having adverse antecedents and having provided wrong information are not allowed to participate in Cross-LoC trade.
They further informed that no major headway has not been made vis-a-vis direction about clubbing of all the court cases relating to security deposit for filing of appeals in the next higher forum.