In an effort to give a glimpse of history to visitors coming to watch beating the retreat ceremony at Attari border, Amritsar customs commissionerate has decided to preserve its infrastructures at the old trade and passenger route and transform it into a photo gallery depicting functioning of the department.
The gallery will have pictures showing how the department is promoting trade and tackling smuggling activities on the border with Pakistan ever since inauguration of the office in 1952 by then finance minister Chintamani Deshmukh. Amritsar customs commissioner Sunil Sawhney told TOI on Monday that the department had proposed to set up a customs photo gallery at Attari for providing snapshot of the rich legacy of customs to the general public.
Customs infrastructure on Attari land route was rendered useless after construction of India's first integrated check post (ICP) in the vicinity of the old set up. All cargo and passenger movement is now routed through the ICP which has its own customs and other agencies and the old building is lying unused. Sawhney said that they were partly using the old infrastructure as canteen and for stay of customs staff working late night at ICP.
Sources said that building of the old post office at Attari route would also be preserved and made a tourist attraction. The officer said that he had proposed to use the "arrival hall" as customs photo gallery. "We have enough photographs and other material to put on display", he said. There was also a proposal for a souvenir sale outlet.