Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The government to concentrate on ports rehabilitation.
THE Government has set aside Sh. 150 billion for the development of the transport sector in the country giving priority to the development of the central railway line, the Deputy Minister for Transport Dr. Charles Tizeba said yesterday when responding the contribution of legislators to the transport ministry budget for 2013/14 financial year. He said the priority for the ministry is outlined in the national development vision of the 2025 which has intended to develop railway infrastructure which passes through the central corridor covering six regions which he said are economically viable for the country’s economy. However, he added that, the passenger train will not be departing from their stations without being checked to ensure safety for the passengers. However, he added that the activities will be supervised by Surface and Marine Transport Authority (SUMATRA) whom it has directed to do the work. He also said that, the government has received financial aid of Euro 35 million from the government of Netherlands for the expansion program of the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA). He added that, the project is scheduled to start in this year’s financial year. He further noted that, the government will spend Sh. 13.3 billion in this 2013/14 financial year for the expansion program of Sumbawanga airport in Rukwa region. Contributing to the ministry’s budget, legislators questioned reasons why the government is not serious with the Air Tanzania Limited (ATCL) which was once being used by most Tanzanians for their flights inside and outside the country. A Member of Parliament for special seats Mkiwa Kimwanga (CUF), said that, Tanzania does not have a plane which it can be proud of and she also asked about the Boeing 737 which has been operating at a loss and what action has the government taken. She also wanted to know how the government is planning to revive the corporation into its former situation it was. In another contribution an MP for Nzega Khamisi Kigwangala (CCM) said that, it is a shame for the government to have no its own plane in this current era of science and technology whereby Tanzania as a country need to show up in global economy and show up its products further outside kits boundaries. She wondered and noted that, many Tanzanians travels outside the country by using other country’s planes because there are no planes for ATCL which in early 1980s had international flights to Far East and Middle East countries. She said that, it is a shame to see Many Tanzanians uses Ethiopian Airlines and others to organize for their international flights. Another legislator Mhonga Ruhwanya (Chadema-Special seat), wanted to know what strategies has the government in place in order to save an ill-fated government organization ATCL. An MP for Mgogoni (CUF), Kombo Khamis Kombo, said that Tanzania government should emulate other East African countries such as Kenya and Rwanda which he said have successes to a certain extent in managing their air transport sector. He said adding that, it was a shame to see these countries which are fellow East African member states to have own planes that connects international flights, and that the government is surpassed by even air transport private countries such as Precision Air which are operating in the country and have connected their operations in international level.