CHANDIGARH: The authorities have installed a new gate, built at a cost of Rs 22 lakh today on the Indian side at the Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post (JCP) at the zero line on the India-Pakistan international border. The silver-grey gate, (51X11ft), weighing 5.5 quintals, bears a replica of the BSF emblem on the top and an Ashoka emblem affixed on the pillars. It is learnt that a gate with the same design with minor changes has also been installed by the Pakistani authorities on their side.
``They had taken the design of the gate from us and thus both are similar,’’ said an official.
``The earlier gates were big with thick pillars that hindered the view of spectators from either side to look beyond the zero line. The new gates will allow people to look across the other side even when they are closed,’’ IG, BSF (Punjab Frontier) Mukul Goel added.
The Beating Retreat ceremony which is being held at Attari-Wagha border every day, is a spectacular military drill attended by hundreds of spectators from both India and Pakistan.
The new gate is part of the Rs 33 crore revamp project of the visitor gallery. It will have a seating capacity of 20,000, besides a control room, a conference hall for meetings between BSF and Pakistani
Rangers, and an advanced sound system and a museum depicting the BSF's achievements, added officials.
Goel said, ``As part of the project, three screens will be installed at the JCP so that the visitors can watch the ceremony. Two of these screens will be inside the visitor’s gallery and one will be outside for people who couldn’t attend the event. The while project will be completed within a month’s time.’’
In November, 2015, the Attari-Wagha gate at the border was damaged when an NRI from Canada, Surinder Singh Kang smashed his Sports SUV at the gate. The vehicle broke the Indian gate broke and the vehicle hit the Pakistani gate and was stopped. Kang was handed him over to BSF by Rangers later. At that time it was considered as a security lapse as it is a high-security area.