Minister dispels concession wrangles in railway project

There are no hindrances in the planned Tanzania-Rwanda-Burundi railway project despite recent media reports that having a sole contractor will have an impact on the multinational project.
Linda Bihire
Linda Bihire

There are no hindrances in the planned Tanzania-Rwanda-Burundi railway project despite recent media reports that having a sole contractor will have an impact on the multinational project.

Rail India Technical and Economic Services Limited (RITES Ltd) is the company that has exclusive rights to run Tanzania’s railway system, a fact that media reported would have an impact on the entire project as it plans to extend to other countries.

“I am not worried that this is going to be a hindrance to the project. They (Tanzania government) have assured us, a hundred percent, right from the Head of State that they will deal with it,” Infrastructure Minister Eng. Linda Bihire told The New Times in an interview.

“The minister said that the present Dar es Salaam-Isaka line is wholly under RITES’ management but categorically underscored that this is not an issue that should raise dust.”

“It is nobody’s fault because before we thought about this project, years before, the government of Tanzania had concessioned the rights of the tracks and their operations to RITES.”

In September 2007, RITES Ltd. won a contract to operate passenger and freight services on a concession basis for 25 years.

The Dar-Isaka line will be upgraded and extended to Rwanda and then Burundi and according to Bihire, a final cost assessment is expected by the end of the month.

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