CONSTRUCTION of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), one of the country’s flagship projects, has continued to take shape with implementation of the 426km Phase Two Morogoro–Makutopora section reaching 42 per cent, it has been reported.
Project Manager Eng. Mateshi Tito said the project is expected to be completed by the end of next year as scheduled.
He disclosed this yesterday when briefing senior officials from the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports who toured the project.
The 426-km railway will link Tanzania and its neighbours of Rwanda and Uganda, and through these two, to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It is intended to replace the old, inefficient metre-gauge railway system and reduce road congestion.
It is also expected to decrease freight costs by 40 per cent.
Each freight train is expected to transport up to 10,000 tonnes, equivalent to 500 lorry-loads.
The project is the courtesy of the Fifth Phase Government under President John Magufuli which has injected more than 7tr/- for implementation of this ambitious scheme.
With a life span of more than 100 years, the project is one of the longest lanes in Africa, and with good maintenance.
Eng. Tito said it might go beyond the expected time.
He said to minimize the cost of importation of some nuts and bolts, local manufacturers have been invited to make them locally.
He said local content is observed whereas in the expertise job the share is 80 per cent for foreigners and 20 per cent for locals while the trend is vice versa for non-experts jobs.
Ministry of Information Permanent Secretary Dr Hassan Abbasi said Tanzanians should be proud of the project as it will transform the transport sector for the better.
It will save time spent and cost incurred by travelers between Dar- es Salaam and the hinterland.
"The public should not listen to peddlers of lies that the government is up for pomp.
The projects are unique and address a number of challenges.
We should be proud of them," he explained.
He said Dar es Salaam to Morogoro section is 90 per cent complete and that last month a tender for the construction of the Mwanza- Isaka portion was announced.
"Those who meet the criteria should apply for the tender as the whole process is open.
As usual the funds for the project are within the budget approved by Parliament" said Dr Abbasi.
The of Administration, Human Resource and Management in the ministry, Mr Bernard Marceline, expressed his satisfaction with the project development, saying his team did not regret on what they saw.
"In the next two years, we will be having a different story as far as the railway transport is all about.
A huge chunk of the money has been injected.
It is good for the public to take good care and use the infrastructure for their socio-economic wellbeing,” he said.
The project is being implemented in five phases covering Dar es Salaam–Morogoro, Morogoro–Makutopora, Makutopora–Isaka, Isaka–Mwanza and Isaka–Rusumo.