Friday, August 5, 2016

Structures along railway lines to face demolition

THE government has directed the Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS), Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) and Reli Assets Holding Company Limited (RAHCO) to demolish structures erected on roads and railway line reserves to protect the infrastructures from damages. Speaking after a tour of Tazara Railway Bridge at Mbalizi, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Professor Makame Mbarawa, said it was high time authorities pulled down all houses built on land reserved for roads and railway lines. “The law is crystal clear and you should enforce it before waiting for me (minister) to make instructions. Anyone who has put up a structure on the reserves should be removed. This way we will be able to protect the infrastructure,” Prof Mbarawa remarked. The minister noted as well that the government was working to improve the central and Tazara railway lines in a bid to ensure that all cargo passing through the Dar es Salaam port are transported by trains as opposed to roads. “At present, just four per cent of cargo at the port is transported through railway.

It is high time we started utilising trains to protect the roads from damages caused by heavy loads,” Minister Mbarawa explained. Prof Mbarawa went on to urge the Tazara management to provide public awareness on the hazards of mining of sand and stone aggregates on railway line reserves, particularly beneath railway bridges to avoid destructing the infrastructure and posing risks to safety of the transport mode. For his part, the TAZARA Regional Manager for Tanzania, Mr Fuad Abdallah, pledged before the minister that houses built on the reserves will be pulled down in accordance with the law. The official explained further that the legislation requires residents to put up structures at 30 metres and 15 metres in rural and urban areas, respectively. “Nevertheless, we will continue educating the public on importance of preserving the infrastructure by avoiding to build houses on the reserves or conducting activities that may damage the rail network,” he explained. During his Mbeya Region tour, Prof Mbarawa also inspected a workshop operated by Tazara, which provides repairs and maintenance to 39 locomotives of Diesel Electric (DE) make. The minister observed first hand lack of equipment and spare parts while some of the available machineries were outdated.

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