Panel concerned over lack of security in Sunderbans
New Delhi (PTI): Expressing concern over lack of security arrangement, provided either by BSF, state government or the IWAI, in Sunderbans or protocol routes in West Bengal, a Parliamentary panel has asked the Shipping Ministry to take up the matter with the Home Ministry.
"The Committee notes with anguish that no security personnel is being provided in Sunderbans/protocol routes in West Bengal by the BSF, state government or the IWAI.
"The Committee is of the opinion that security is a prime concern and should be looked into seriously making commensurate arrangements," the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture observed in its report.
Under the trade agreement between Bangladesh and India, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) is the nodal agency in issuing necessary permission for inland barges of both the countries for their movement and undertaking loading and unloading at designated Ports of Call.
"The Committee recommends the Department of Shipping to take up the matter of beefing-up security arrangement in the Sunderbans/protocol routes with the Union Home Ministry so that inadequacy of police deployment could be addressed in a big way," the Parliamentary panel said in its report.
At present, checking of authorised or illegal transportation of men and materials fall under the Customs Department (for cargo) and Immigration Department (for men), IWAI does not play any role in either connection.
The Customs and Immigration authorities check and verify if the cargo carried and men on board were as per the declared manifesto (certified by the Bangladesh' nodal agency for trade and transit protocol - BIWTA), Shipping Ministry sources said.