News From Parliament
- Published on Thursday, 02 August 2012 05:20
- Written by ALVAR MWAKYUSA in Dodoma
- Hits: 1092
TRAFFIC jams in parts of Dar es Salaam may soon be history as the government plans to introduce commuter rail services with the capacity to carry about 36,000 passengers a day, later this year.
The Minister for Transport, Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, told the National Assembly here that train services would ply between Ubungo Maziwa and Stesheni as well as Mwakanga and Kurasini areas in the city.
Moving the ministry's budget estimates for the 2012/2013 financial year, Dr Mwakyembe said the services scheduled to begin in October, are expected to reduce congestion in the city and urged the private sector to invest in parking facilities at Ubungo area.
Dr Mwakyembe had asked the National Assembly to approve 317.7bn/- expenditure for this financial year, out of which 252.8bn/- are on development projects and 64.9bn/- on recurrent votes.
The Ministry of Transport had through the Reli Assets Holding Company (RAHCO), Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) and Tanzania and Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) conducted a feasibility study on the train services, according to the minister.
He said the government would spend 4.75bn/- on renovation of a railway network along the 12-km Ubungo-Stesheni route. The funds will also be used for rehabilitation of three locomotives and 14 coaches. He said the main challenges in implementation of the project included encroachment on railway reserves, lack of vehicles parking space and inadequate locomotives.
Dr Mwakyembe hinted, however, that the National Transport Institute (NIT) has allocated four acres for construction of parking space and urged the private sector to make use of the opportunity. "The service will start with two trains which would offer
services during peak hours, with one starting at Stesheni and another one at Ubungo. They will make six-stops along the route and each train will have six coaches.
He explained further that the Mwakanga-Kurasini route would be operated through the Tazara railway and it would require some 838m/- for renovation of three locomotives and 14 passenger coaches. Presenting views of the Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure,its Chairman Mr Peter Serukamba (Kigoma Urban-CCM) hailed the decision to introduce city trains as "wise and patriotic."
He, however, challenged responsible authorities to make proper preparations ahead of the ambitious project. However, the opposition was of a view that the project was uncalled for since there is another project with the same aim of reducing traffic in the city -- Dar Rapid Transit (Dart).
Shadow Minister for Transport, Mr Said Arfi (Mpanda Central-CHADEMA) said funds allocated for implementation of the city train project should be directed to revamp the ailing central line railway.