The government yesterday made public a new business plan for improving services on the central railway line to be implemented by the interim Tanzania Railway Limited (TRL) management.
Transportation Deputy Minister Dr Athuman Mfutakamba announced the plan in the National Assembly here when responding to a question posed by Mpanda Urban MP (Chadema), Said Amour Arfi.
The MP had wanted to know the plan for resumption of ordinary daily train services between Dar es Salaam and upcountry regions, including Tabora, Kigoma, Rukwa and Mwanza.
He said TRL was facing shortages of working facilities resulting in inefficiency.
Dr Mfutakamba said his ministry in collaboration with RAHCO and the interim TRL management had drawn up the business plan to ensure that train services resume as soon as possible.
He said the business plan, among other things, involved improvement of railway infrastructure as well as procurement of train engines, plants and other essential equipment.
The deputy minister said the plan needs about 503.94bn/- in three years. “This amount will enable the company to purchase new engines and new communication plants for reviving the train services,” he said.
Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Omar Nundu told the House when responding to a supplementary question from Bariadi East MP (UDP), John Cheyo, that about 63bn/- is needed for revamping TRL operations.
He said the government was trying its best to improve train services and that it had already withdrawn its shares on RITES.
“Currently, there are only two trips to Kigoma every week. Services to places like Mwanza will resume by June. We want to have three trips and later this year reach five,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rites Ltd of India, which was contracted to manage the TRL operations, has started to move out of the company’s offices—to pave the way for indigenous managers to take charge.
This comes after termination of the TRL contract, following persistent outcry and complaints by legislators and ordinary people over the deterioration of the rail transport services.
Cargo and passenger services had been declining because of poor management.
Dar es Salaam Zonal TRAWU Chairmain Jomo Lema confirmed to The Guardian yesterday in an exclusive interview that there were clear positive indications that Rites management was now quitting, as par the agreement with the government.
He further explained that the government had promised the workers union two days ago that Rites Ltd management would start packing today (yesterday) to allow the interim management to oversee operations of TRL.
Recently, the Central committee of Tanzania Railway Workers Union (TRAWU) gave the government one week to remove Rites Management from Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL).
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN