Saturday, February 4, 2017

CCM fulfils long standing railway transport woes

THE ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has started to fulfill its promises which it gave during the campaigns of the October 2015 general elections. Among the most crucial issues the ruling party promised to the people was to build among others the Standard Gauge Railway line from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza which is going to be constructed in five different phases up to the time of its completion. On Friday this week, government officials from the Ministry of Communication signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two construction companies from Portugal and Turkey. The MoU ushered the immediate construction of the 300 km standard gauge railway line between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro worth 2.2tr/-, whose implementation is expected to commence in the next six weeks. The railway line to be constructed using electric-infrastructure is set to spend seven-hours from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza cruising at 160 kilometers per hour - the highest compared to the rest in Africa. The train will spend 2 hrs and 30 minutes from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. The railway-line is designed to carry 17 million tonnes of cargo per year. The MoU signed creates a joint venture between Reli Assets Holding Company (RAHCO) with Yapi Merkezi Instaat VE Sanayi A.S ( Turkey) Mota- Engil, Engenharia E Mota-Engil, Engenharia E and Construction Africa from Portugal. Speaking during the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the Dar es Salaam- Morogoro phase of the project will cost 1,215,282,000 US dollars (VAT included), equivalent to 2.2tr/-. “Dar-Moro phase is part of five phases planned to be implemented to complete the SGR to Mwanza,” he said, adding that the SGR project which is the biggest infrastructure in Tanzania to be implemented. It will be completed in 30 months. He added: “We are determined to improve transport services our country by using modern infrastructure, thus why the government has decided to construct the standard gauge railway with high speed compared to others in Africa. ” He added that the construction of the railway line will act as a catalyst for social and economic development in the country. The minister, however, insisted that the cost for the construction of railway line will not be the same in other regions due to geographical differences. Prof Mbarawa promised to increase the budget for the construction of the railway line in the next financial year, adding that the government will also continue to seek soft loans for completing the project.

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