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NE lobbies for Myanmar-India gas line

November 21, 2006 14:55 IST

The north-eastern states are keen to have a proposed gas pipeline from Myanmar routed through the region as they believe the project could bring about a development windfall.

"Rerouting the pipeline through the north-eastern states will bring development and prosperity to the region," Assam's Commerce and Industry Minister Pradyut Bordoloi told reporters after meeting Petroleum Minister Murli Deora in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Bordoloi was representing a forum of commerce and industry ministers from the region.

India, which has been facing competition from China for gas from Myanmar, has presented eight alternative routes including one via the north-east that excluded Bangladesh for the $3-billion pipeline.

GAIL, which is the preferred buyer of gas from Block A-1 in Myanmar, too is for bringing the pipeline via the north-east.

It proposes routing the pipeline through the states of Mizoram, Assam, Bihar and West Bengal.

The trunk pipeline for importing gas from Myanmar's Sitwe area will be connected to the proposed Jagdishpur-Haldia gas pipeline at Gaya in Bihar passing through Aizwal, Guwahati, Jalpaiguri and Siliguri.

The proposal for the north-east route was mooted after the Bangladesh government refused to allow its territory for the project. The pipeline will also have the provision to transport gas from developing gas fields in Tripura and Assam.

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