ISLAMABAD: Government is committed to ensure compliance with local and international environmental standards while participating in building of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan (TAPI) project, a senior official said on Tuesday.
“Government would provide assistance and coordination so that the TAPI pipeline project is built in accordance with different provincial environmental laws, guidelines, and regulations,” Romina Khurshid Alam, parliamentary secretary for ministry of climate change said, addressing a workshop.
The workshop was held as part of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment study of TAPI pipeline project in Pakistan, a ministry’s statement said. Environmental Management Consultants Pakistan hosted the workshop as being the local associate of international consortium of consultants. Romina said government is to build 825 kilometres-long Pakistan’s section of TAPI gas pipeline project. The project will cover a total distance of 1,814 kilometres. An estimated $8 billion pipeline is expected to start carrying gas by 2020.
“Government of Pakistan will fully support TAPI gas pipeline project vis-à-vis ensuring compliance to Environmental Acts, rules, and regulations both at federal and provincial levels,” she added.
The climate ministry’s secretary said the workshop’s participants would be helpful in identifying the scope of negative and positive aspects of the TAPI project in Pakistan “so to make it more sustainable, environment, and climate friendly”.
“Do share with us whatever are the recommendations and deliberations of this workshop and we will incorporate them in our plan to build this project to mitigate to the maximum possible extent any adverse social and environmental impacts of this pipeline project,” she added. Shakeel Malik, additional secretary of ministry of climate change said the transnational gas pipeline project would emerge “as a supreme example of regional cooperation to overcome persisting energy shortfall in Pakistan and in neighbouring countries”.
Malik said the government would ensure that construction and operation of the TAPI project in Pakistan should fully comply with national environmental quality standards and rules and regulations of environmental watchdogs of Balochistan and Punjab – the two provinces from which the gas pipeline would pass through.