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Railway transport needs major overhaul

Railway transport needs major overhaul

TRL Principal Commercial Manager, Mr Hassan Shaban, told a stakeholders’ meeting that the company was proposing an increase of 25 per cent for first class, 25 per cent for second class and 50 per cent for the third class.

He said the move would generate 8.1bn/- and help reduce cash flow gap that is currently adversely affecting the firm's operations.  It is not a secret that TRL desperately needs cash to finance various activities including repair of its dilapidated locomotives, wagons and coaches.

However, it is rather absurd for TRL to review fare tariffs at this time when its services are of poor quality.  The government should give TRL adequate resources to finance rehabilitation of the railway infrastructure, repair locomotives, cargo wagons and coaches.

It is true that TRL fares are still very low compared to those charged by bus companies, but increasing them at this time cannot help much the institution and might make passengers opt for other means of transport.  TRL officials rightly said during the meeting that the government has decided to neglect the heavily indebted institution and instead spend trillions of shillings on road projects.

It is understood that the government has plans to put up a modern railway network to cater for clients in Tanzania and several neighbouring landlocked countries including Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi. The government announced in Parliament recently that 45bn/- had been allocated for the project.  

It is hoped that this will not end up in shelves for long because other neighbouring countries including Kenya and Mozambique have similar plans. Kenya and Mozambique are both expanding the ports and rehabilitating railway networks. Railway transport is apparently the most reliable and can boost incomes of the people living along the railway line by transporting their goods to the markets.

In the same vein, the government should also support the Tanzania Zambia  Railway Authority (TAZARA), which is also in  shambles. A few decades ago, TAZARA was among the most prestigious institutions in Tanzania and Zambia. But today, it is just another white elephant. Something must be done to save it now.

 

We need to stick to code of ethics  and conduct for public service

PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has expressed concern ...

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Author: EDITOR

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