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Iran-India pipeline routes being studied: Govt

Each of these plans involve passing through the troubled region of Balochistan in Pakistan.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2006 13:44 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

India, Pakistan and Iran are discussing three possible routes for the over $7 billion tri-nation gas pipeline.

Each of these plans involve passing through the troubled region of Balochistan in Pakistan, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

"As regards the pipeline route of the Indo-Iran pipeline project, conceptually three alternatives, namely, northern, central and southern routes are being discussed," Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dinsha Patel said.

"Each route configuration will be studied in detail with respect to its merits/demerits during the preparation of the detailed project report," he said in a written reply.

He said: "The Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline would have to cross Balochistan in any logical route option."

He, however, said adequate safeguards would be built in the project structure to ensure safety and security of gas supplied to India.

Officials of the three countries are holding tripartite parleys on Tuesday and Wednesday in Tehran on the issue of gas pricing, project structure and tripartite Government-to- Government Framework Agreement.

A tripartite meeting of the technical teams from the three countries was held in New Delhi in January to discuss various parameters of the project.

To finalise the details of the 2,100-km IPI project, two separate Secretary-level bilateral Joint Working Groups (JWGs) have been set up by India with Pakistan and Iran.

So far, three meetings each of these JWGs have been held in which various technical, commercial, financial, legal and other project-related issues have been discussed.

First Published: Mar 14, 2006 13:44 IST