Tapi Will Meet Standards: Pakistan
Pakistan will make sure that its section of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) pipeline meets all international, national and provincial environmental laws, the parliamentary secretary, ministry of climate change, Romina Khurshid Alam said in Islamabad May 16.
The future of the line however has long been in doubt owing to continuing security problems in Afghanistan and the arrival of large volumes of LNG on to world markets which mean that the buying nations have alternative sources of supply that were not envisaged when Tapi was thought up many years ago.
Muhammad Shakeel Malik, additional secretary at the ministry of climate change, said Tapi would also be an example of regional co-operation. The government will fully comply with National Environmental Quality Standards and rules and regulations of environmental watchdogs of Baluchistan and Punjab, the two provinces in Pakistan through which the gas pipeline would pass.
The implementation of the much-delayed pipeline project has seen some action above ground. Turkmenistan, which will supply gas to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India with an 85% stake in the $10bn project, started work on its territory in 2015. Work on the Afghan section of the Tapi pipeline started late-February with the groundbreaking ceremony taking place in Herat city.
Recently, the four nations approved an acceleration plan in a bid to cut the time required for constructing the pipeline and make it ready before the deadline, reported Express Tribune. The pipeline is expected to be operation by 2020. According to the newspaper, Pakistan had proposed a new plan for executing the project in the shortest possible time, which was approved by the Tapi steering committee. Under the plan, the pipeline will be laid without installation of compressors in the first phase.