AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: It has been two years that the design of the much-awaited pipeline project—Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) has been completed, but the practical work on the project is still to start. The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said that the government is committed to begin work on the project based the schedule.
Radio Azadi the other day quoted the spokesman for Mines and Petroleum Ministry, Rafi Siddiqi, as saying that technical work on the project was completed and practical work would kick off soon.
“Technical studies and overall assessment and design of the project will be completed in near future and we are stepping into practical phase of the project. The government has done its work as per the agreement and practical work on the project will kick off in near future,” he said.
He added that member countries of the project are also committed to end their activities as per the contract.
President Ashraf Ghani in his recent trip to Turkmenistan termed the TAPI project as important for the regional countries. He also said that there are hopes that the economy of Afghanistan would improve after implementation of the project.
It is said that the transfer of natural gas from Caspian Sea through Afghanistan takes $7.6 billion. Afghanistan can earn around $400 million on annual basis after completion of the project.
Similarly, the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) said work on technical studies design of the project was kicked of four years back but there is no sign of implementation of the TAPI project so far.
The deputy chief of ACCI, Khan Jan Alokozai, was quoted by Azadi Radio as saying that work on the project should be kicked off soon as it is not only vital for Afghanistan but also for the region.
“The TAPI project is an opportunity that is not only in favor of Afghanistan but also it is important for the Central Asian and South Asian countries. The agreement for the project was signed four years back and the theory for the project was established 15 years from now but practical work on the project is yet to be started. We want the project to be implemented soon,” he opined.
He also suggested that the Silk Road project should also be implemented aimed at transferring goods to European countries.
A number of Afghan analysts stress on implementation of the pipeline project and term it as important step in strengthening of the economy of Afghanistan.