APP87-13 TURKMENISTAN: December 13 - Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif along with Presidents of Afghanistan & Turkmenistan and Indian Vice President at the ground breaking ceremony of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline. APP

Erfan Khan
MARY CITY, Turkmenistan, Dec 13 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Sunday along with other regional leaders performed the ground breaking of 1814 kilometre Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

The Prime Minister along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimohamedov and Indian Vice President Muhammad Hamid Ansari jointly broke the ground of multi-billion TAPI gas pipeline project, tipped as one of the major natural gas supply conduit, vital to meet ever increasing energy needs of this region.

They jointly announced start of TAPI construction by pressing a button one by one and signing a memorial note.
The venue at some distance from Mary City continued reverberating with thunderous sound of clapping by a huge gathering.

A very large number of residents on all the roads warmly welcomed the guests by waving colourful flags.

The TAPI pipeline starting from natural gas reserves of Galkynys will pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan and then to India. About 33 billion cusec meter of natural gas, also called blue fuel in the local dialect, will be supplied to three countries annually benefiting about 1.5 billion people in the energy starved South Asia.

With completion of this project, Pakistan will get 1325 mmcfd (million cubic feet per day) supply of natural gas as one of the main components of the mega project linking Central Asian States with South  Asian countries. It will be helpful in overcoming energy deficits in Pakistan.

A memorandum of understanding for supply of power from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and Pakistan was also signed by leaders of the three countries.

Earlier, at Mary City airport the Turkmen President received Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A brief discussion was also held among the leaders on the TAPI project.

Traditional performance of Akhalteke horses and art masters on the occasion added colours of jubilation to the historical event.