Ansari flew to the ancient city of Mary, 311 km from the capital Asghabat, which was part of the old Silk Route, to attend the ground-breaking ceremony of the 1800-kilometre-long TAPI gas pipeline in the presence of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.

They pushed a button which started the welding process of pipes. They later signed the pipe and also signed a document which was put in a capsule and placed under the ground.

At the ceremony, Berdimuhamedow hoped that the project would get operationalised by December 2019. He said the project proves that Turkmenistan can carry such huge amount of gas to places where it is required.

The TAPI pipeline will have a capacity to carry 90 million standard cubic metres a day (mmscmd) gas for a 30-year period. India and Pakistan would get 38 mmscmd each, while the remaining 14 mmscmd will be supplied to Afghanistan.

Ansari while terming the project as a 'reflection of desire' to the old age legacy warned that all stakeholders have to work together with resolve to ensure that negative forces inimical to the success of the project are addressed in an appropriate manner.

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