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Local engineers: Assign us part of SGR project

THE Engineers Registration Board (ERB) has submitted a proposal to the government requesting a portion of the ongoing construction of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) as part of local engineers’ contribution in the 7trl/- project.

The government intends to spend 7trl/- to build a 2,561 km standard gauge railway network. It recently awarded a contract to a Turkish firm ‘Yapi Merkezi Insaat VE Sanayi As’ to construct a 422-km (262-mile) high-speed electric railway line.

ERB Chairman Prof Ninatubu Lema told the Minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage, that local engineers are ready to take on big projects.

“We want the government to consider our submission. We just need even a small part of the SGR which can be used as baseline reference,” the chairman, who is also an engineer, said at a day-long engineers meeting in Dodoma.

The government embarked on total revival of its infrastructure to spur the industrial powered economy agenda.

The first phase of the project involves construction of the line from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro and the second phase extends the line to Makutupora in Dodoma.

Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) said the line would have the capacity to transport 17 million tonnes of cargo a year.

In February, TRC signed a deal with a consortium of the Turkish firm and Portugal’s Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção África, S.A. to build another 300-km railway line.

TRC is scheduled to award three additional tenders over the coming months for the construction of close to 700 km of railway.

There are over 21,000 registered engineers in the country. Prof Lema said the decision would help to set precedence for local engineers over the next 50 years.

Initially, Mr Mwijage asked local engineers to consider how they could tap into investment potentials to help the country realise its industrial and development targets.

Mr Mwijage said the contribution of engineers in the country’s industrial economy could not be underestimated. He said engineers were highly needed in the establishment of industries.

He highlighted some industries as sugar, edible oil and construction materials, which are now in high demand within and outside the country.

ERB Acting Registrar, Eng Patrick Barozi, explained that the engineers forum on industrial development was part of the 50th anniversary of the board, which would be commemorated in September this year.

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