Borders to have radiation detection equipment

Radiation Detection Equipment (RDE) will soon be installed at eight land crossing points along India’s borders with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal to check the trafficking of radioactive materials for its possible use in making nuclear devices, officials said.

The RDE will be installed at the Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) and land ports of Attari (Pakistan border), Petrapole, Agartala, Dawki and Sutarkandi (all on the Bangladesh border), Raxaul and Jogbani (Nepal) and Moreh (Myanmar).

Work order for supply, installation and maintenance of RDE at eight operational ICPs has been awarded by the government through an agreement executed last year and the vendor will supply and complete the installation process shortly, an official privy to the development said.

The central government has taken the initiative to install the RDE so that the trafficking of radioactive materials across international borders can be checked. The eight ICPs are known to have a sizeable number of cross-border movements of people and goods.

Any smuggling of radioactive material could be a challenge for India’s security agencies as it could be used for making nuclear devices or radiological dispersal devices, another official said.

The RDE will be installed in a drive-through monitoring station that monitors trucks and their cargo.

Even though the movement of people and goods through the Attari ICP has come down drastically due to the current chill in relations with Pakistan, footfalls in other ICPs are significant.