Home > Asia-Pacific, Economics, Middle East, Politics > High Pressure on Big Pipedream

High Pressure on Big Pipedream

Shantanu Guha Ray writes in Tehelka:

When it was first conceptualised in 1992, India’s great pipeline dreams had a whole lot of options: It could have come from Turkmenistan, Iran, Russia and even war-torn Iraq. Hydrocarbon giants like Unocal were already keen on the mega project and the mandarins of North Block were confident of getting it bankrolled from global financers despite high-voltage tensions associated with all projects passing through Pakistan.

But continued doubts and tensions because of technical and commercial issues delayed the project, hiked costs from $4 billion to the present $9 billion, and reduced its options. Four governments changed at the Centre in India, Unocal developed cold feet, Kabul snowballed into a global flashpoint and Washington continued to have doubts — primarily because of its dispute with Tehran over its nuclear power programme — about the project. Till date, no one has a realistic deadline on the project which could take another six to seven years before the gas flows in. That makes it a delay of almost two decades, the worst in the history of all mega projects in India.

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