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LAHORE: The Ministry of Defence is likely to grant permission by the end of this month to the authorities concerned regarding initiation of a detailed route survey of the Pakistani portion of the TAPI gas pipeline.

The 1,800km long pipeline, which begins from the Galkynysh gas field in Turkmenistan, passes through Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan, moves through Pakistan via Quetta and concludes at Fazilka in India. The TAPI route in Pakistan is 780km long and begins from Chaman and ends in Multan district via Quetta and D.I Khan.

“We had applied to the ministry of defence sometime ago for grant of permission regarding initiation of the detailed route survey of the TAPI’s portion that falls in the Pakistani territory. Necessary correspondence is underway these days, as we continue to provide necessary information to the ministry about the equipment to be used in the detailed survey (both aerial and ground mode), engineers, consultants etc,” Inter State Gas Systems (ISGS) Managing Director Mobin Saulat told Dawn on Wednesday. “I think that we will receive the NOC / permission letter from the ministry of defence within this month,” he added.

He said a preliminary route survey of the project had already been completed. And during this initial survey, the necessary soil tests, geographical study etc was completed accordingly. But in the detailed survey, which would include almost the aerial study of the route, various technical matters would be assessed in depth. But the detailed route survey wouldn’t take too much time as consumed in the preliminary survey.

“We are expecting that this survey will start next month and complete by October, this year under a typical official protocol,” the MD claimed.

He said an international firm, which been engaged as the project management consultant by the TAPI consortium, has been given a timeline of December, 2017 to accomplish the entire tasks related to detailed survey, planning, engineering, designing etc. And hopefully, the all aforementioned jobs along with financial close, bidding etc would be complete in December this year after which the civil work on the TAPI’s route in Pakistan would start.

“We are expecting initiation of civil work by January 2018 as we are well prepared to assist the TAPI consortium and respective firms for the accomplishment of various tasks,” Mr Saulat hoped.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2017