Trucks to Pakistan pile up in big traffic jam at Wagah border

 A large number of trucks laden with goods to be exported to Pakistan are piling up for clearance at the integrated check post at Attari-Wagah border as traders are forced to export through land route due to non-availability of rail wagons, exporters said.

Exporters lamented that about 700 to 800 trucks are awaiting clearance for several days as present infrastructure at integrated check post is “insufficient” to handle sudden and heavy rush of exports via land route.

“Awaiting clearance, a large number of trucks between 700 and 800 carrying items to be exported to Pakistan are piled up at Attari-Wagah land route because traders who used to send items through rail are now using land route which led to this problem,” Amritsar-based exporter Anil Mehra said on Tuesday.

Trucks which are laden with vegetable commodities including tomatoes and peas are made to wait for four to five days, he said, adding, “As a result of it, farm items are getting rotten.”

Exporters said ICP could handle only 200 to 250 trucks a day. Admitting piling up of trucks, customs officials said items, including polymer, spices, soyameal extract are now being exported through trucks instead of being sent through rail network.

Moreover, cement and other items which used to be imported from Pakistan through rail are now coming in trucks, they added.

The problem of trucks “getting stuck” at Attari-Wagah land route arose as traders who were exporting commodities via rail route shifted to land route because of non-availability of rail wagons.

Trade through rail route between two nations was hit as Pakistan based traders refused to send cement through rail after the recovery of huge consignment of heroin in rail cargo train.

The wagons coming from Pakistan were used for export by Indian traders.

Exporters accused the rail authorities of not resolving the wagon crisis despite reminding them of numerous times. Traders claimed that they would need at least 2,500 wagons to clear the backlog of export items.

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