KARACHI - The Sindh government has actively been working to ensure that any development project being carried out in the province for energy security of the country including the upcoming North South Gas Pipeline should not damage the environment.

The assurance to this effect was given by Sindh Environment Minister Muhammad Taimur Talpur while speaking as the chief guest on Tuesday at the scoping meeting on Environmental & Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Study of the proposed 800 kilometres-long North South Gas Pipeline project.

The proposed gas pipeline will be constructed in next two years from Nawabshah to Nankana Sahib to supply up to 1200 MMSCFD (million standard cubic feet per day) of Re-gasified Liquefied Natural Gas to North of the country. The proposed pipeline will be connected to Gwadar-Nawabshah LNG terminal and pipeline project to be built to import 0.6 billion cubic feet per day RLNG to the country.

“I’m here to assure you that the Sindh government will fully support projects like the North South Gas Pipeline for energy security of the country but at the same time we will ensure that no compromise will be done on our environment,” said Talpur.

The minister also assured that any malpractice would not be tolerated as they would ensure it by maintaining utmost transparency in construction of the project. He said that executioners of the upcoming gas pipeline project was under strict obligation to make sure that no tree was cut during its construction phase and if in case such an act became inevitable then for every fallen tree along the route of pipeline, they should plant 20 trees as a substitute.

Talpur added that Sindh government had been fully adhering to the cause that the environment and natural habitats in the province should be completely protected and conserved as for this cause, “we are implementing projects of wind and solar energy for promotion of clean resources of power generation”.

He said that projects like North South Gas Pipeline had to be built in the country for transmission of imported RLNG to all areas of the country given that indigenous resources of natural gas in the country were fast depleting. “By the year 2030 volume of our natural gas consumption is expected to increase to 8 to 10 MMSCFD, which at present stands at 3.8 MMSCFD,” the minister added.

He was of the view that Sindh and rest of Pakistan will progress once we fully adhere to the cause of environment.

Speaking on the occasion, Additional Director General of Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Naeem Ahmed Mughal said that ESIA study of the development projects like North South Gas Pipeline were conducted as a tool to ensure sustainable development of the area in surroundings of the project that would also benefit the local population.

He said that while projects like the proposed gas pipeline were essential for progress of economy of the country but at the same time the SEPA would make sure that their execution should not create any adverse impact on natural resources of the area.