With Bangladesh playing hardball on the Myanmar-India gas pipeline, India has decided to go ahead with the project by bypassing its neighbour's territory. A route through Bangladesh would have been shorter and so cheaper. But Bangladesh was demanding too high a price. Among its numerous demands were reducing the huge bilateral trade deficit, duty-free movement of goods and transit rights to transport energy from Nepal and Bhutan to Bangladesh. The pipeline will now pass through northeast states, which will almost treble its estimated cost. India, Myanmar and Bangladesh signed a trilateral agreement early last year to build the pipeline, India's first such transnational project. Meanwhile, India is also planning gas pipelines from Iran and Turkmenistan.
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