THE Parliamentary Committee for Infrastructure Development (PCID) yesterday said that railway infrastructure investments should focus on construction and upgrading areas of economic values to the citizens and nation.
The remark was further expounded by its Chairman, Mr Selemani Kakoso, while issuing their recommendations to the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) representatives on a number of issues which include construction of electric standard gauge railway (SGR).
Mr Kakoso said the committee wants expansion and upgrading of the railway meter gauge especially in the main network of Morogoro, Tabora, Dodoma and Mwanza.
“The government is currently expanding the country’s rail network with the construction of the SGR, such lines from Dar es Salaam-Tabora-Isaka- Rwanda, Tabora-Mpanda- Kalemela, Tabora-Kigoma and Uvinza-Isaka-Keza- Msongati in Burundi would boost cargo in our ports,” he added.
The chairman further said that “when we invest in railway economic opportunity areas should be given special attention by capitalising on their cargo loads, which can be ferried by our railway lines.” He cited the countries of Burundi, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo as the immediate ones which would benefit from the railway lines from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma in cargo transportation.
Mr Kakoso said the committee wants TRC to operate commercially by putting much weight on economic areas with high potentials for the growth of the national economy to increase revenue collections.
He hinted that TRC requires about 100 cargo wagons to meet the neighbouring landlocked countries’ cargo transportation demands. As for the SGR construction preparations, Mr Kakoso said they are satisfied with the pace set, and called upon continuous timely release of their financial resources to operate without hiccups.
However, the Committee ordered the TRC to view ordering their equipment in advance, citing them as engines cargo and others so that when the SGR is done, they should not delay to takeoff. “We should also look for improvement of the meter gauge which are still in use in most of the railway stretches,” pointed out Mr Kakoso.
Equally, the chairman added that plans should be set to ensure that their technologies are also transferred, especially on local human resources to replace foreign experts who are costly to maintain once the SGR would be operational. In another development, he called for timely compensation of the citizens whose pieces of land would be annexed in the programme to pave way for the SGR construction.
The total length of the railway is estimated to be 2,190 km, where according to Makame Mbarawa, Tanzania’s former Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, the SGR project would be completed in four phases in the next 3 years.
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Publish date : 2018-10-31 10:21:50