India feels that the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline is technically feasible although it will pass over some of the highest mountain ranges in the world. It also feels that security and viability issues can also be resolved in due course.
However, it does not feel the same way about the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline which has been in the works much before the TAPI pipeline but has stalled after the U.S. tightened sanctions against Iran though India denies there was any pressure from Washington.
Speaking to journalists, government sources said the IPI pipeline project was yet to convince India on two counts — the assured supply of gas and the safety of the pipeline as it passes through the restive Baluchistan province of Pakistan.
“There is a $6-billion pipeline with another $30 billion worth of industries at the end of it in India. Either Iran has to be involved with some of the industries in India at the end of the pipeline or the gas grid in India should become operational, which it should in the next couple of years,'' they reasoned.
The sources, citing Iranian government officials, said the oil payments issue had been resolved. They appreciated Tehran for continuing to supply $1 billon of oil every month even as the payments issue was in limbo.
The sources said Japan had said that despite the devastating natural disaster which had hit the country, it would continue with investment plans in two mega projects in India — the Dedicated Freight Corridor and the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor.
Keywords: TAPI pipeline