It will fund a rail link between the Iranian port city of Chabahar and city of Zahedan, located on the tri-junction of Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan. The rail link, when concluded, will join Chabahar port with International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to provide direct access to Central Asia. It will also be used to establish greater links with Afghanistan as the India-built Zaranj-Delaram road in that country is close to Zahedan. In future, the undersea gas pipeline will bring gas from gas-rich Turkmenistan, a long-standing friend of India and a former state in the Soviet Union.
A top official of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre told The Tribune: “Yes, the deal for the Iran-India undersea gas pipeline will be done. Matters have become easier as the US-imposed economic sanctions on Iran have been lifted (on January 16)”. Rather India-Iran have held talks on key issues since the lifting of sanctions. Even during the sanctions, India was among the few countries allowed to buy crude oil from Iran.
The $4.5 billion gas pipeline project will bring 31.5 million standard cubic meters gas per day to India’s west coast.
The 1,400-km pipeline will bypass the exclusive economic zone of Pakistan — the EEZ extends to 200 nautical miles from the coast. Laying such a pipeline would need technical expertise for which a global consortium will lead the way.