Cracks at Attari post, RITES says got less time to finish work

In a hurry to complete the Rs 150-crore Attari Integrated Check Post (ICP) in April last year, executing agency RITES reportedly compromised with the quality of work, resulting in problems surfacing soon after the IPC was made operational.

Inaugurated with much fanfare by then Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, the Attari ICP spread over 120 acres was projected as a big bonhomie initiative between India and Pakistan to promote trade.

According to sources, in all nine import godowns in the trade area, floors have started to sink. While a source claimed that four compartments in the Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) meant to store import goods have already been repaired, The Indian Express, during a visit, found repair work still continuing in one of the compartments.

An official pleading anonymity said: "The rest of the compartments, meant for importing goods, also need repairs. Two export godowns had been identified with problem of sinking floor." Another official added: "The remaining two export godowns have not been used so far. While one godown is being used by the BSF, the other is being used by RITES, where the agency keeps its paraphernalia."

Sources claimed that CWC the custodian of the ICP has taken up the matter with RITES and with Land Port Authority of India, which has the ownership rights of the ICP. It has reportedly listed the problems surfacing due to "poor quality of work and improper planning" of work at ICP.

"There have been problems pertaining to drainage of water, including rain water, due to improper planning. Civic amenities like toilets have also faced problems like drainage and leakage," said a source.

When contacted, RITES Deputy General Manager (Project) Ghanshyam Sharma said: "The problems are technical in nature. Floors had sunk as RITES got less time to execute the project. The project was to be completed in 14 months, but there was a delay in executing the work for six months due to issues relating to funds and clearances at the government level."

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