LAHORE: Pakistan Customs, Railways and All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) have agreed to take measures to plug all possible loopholes in the security of wagons that are transporting cement from Pakistan to India, official sources report.
In a meeting at the Wahga border the three stakeholders decided to tighten the security checks of India-bound wagons after narcotics were found in one of the wagons. In the past few months, four such incidents have occurred wherein Indian customs found heroin in cement consignments, said a spokesman of the APCMA. Aside from tarnishing the image of the country, these incidents have adversely impacted cement and other exports, he said.
According to the meeting minutes signed by Additional Collector Customs, Dr Asif Jah, Divisional Transport Officer Railways, Tariq Latif, has agreed to install proper lights at the T-10 Railway shed in Lahore where cement wagons are loaded at night.
The minutes further reveal that both Railways and Custom officials have promised to post more staff members at T-10. It was also agreed that examination of goods would be done at T-10 after filling of wagons (earlier the wagons were examined after leaving T-10).
Railways officials agreed to seal the loaded wagons after the customs examination. They agreed to use quality seals arranged and provided by APCMA. They also agreed to post more policemen at T-10 to prevent the entry of unauthorised persons.
Railways officials expressed their inability to detain all loaded wagons at T-10 because of a shortage of space. However, they promised that loaded and sealed wagons would be kept under strict vigilance when stationed at Jallo/Wahga Railway track before crossing over to India. The Pakistan Railways officials agreed to install scanners and promised to approach the higher authorities to do the needful.