SGR hits major milestone

  • Majaliwa flags off Dar-Dodoma maiden trial
  • Extols faith leaders’ role in projects execution

TANZANIA: IN yet another milestone, Tanzania yesterday flagged off its maiden trial trip of electric train from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, with the Prime Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa attributing the achievement to religion heightening peace in the country.

The trip that kicked off at 2:58 pm from Dar es Salaam carried 104 faith leaders, who travelled to the country’s capital of Dodoma to lead a national prayer ceremony, which will be held today as part of marking the 60th anniversary of the Union.

Mr Majaliwa said religion through the faith leaders have been upholding the country’s values of peace, cooperation and solidarity, love, understanding and tranquillity, which in return enable the government to focus in production and implementing various development projects including the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

“Religion has profound contribution to the development of our country as it enhances peace, cooperation and harmony. The development we have today could not be achieved without peace,” he said.

In that regard, he said the government understands the critical role of faith leaders in leading the country to prosperity and hence they were invited to launch the SGR’s inaugural trial trip from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma.

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He said the trial signifies good progress in the execution of the strategic project. Underlining faith leaders’ role on bolstering the peace and solidarity, he thanked them for forming interfaith association, which brings them together regardless of their faith affiliations.

Highlighting the sixthphase government progress in implementing various strategic projects, Mr Majaliwa said President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan has managed to maintain the execution of all projects she inherited from the fifth phase government.

The major strategic projects which are in impressive progress include the SGR project, Kigongo-Busisi Bridge, MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu, airports construction and procurement of new airplanes and the Julius Nyerere Hydropower Plant (JNHPP).

“All projects are in impressive progress, the government’s target is to ensure it upgrades all transportation system so as to diversify citizens choice on whether to travel by trains, buses, planes or ships,” he said.

He said the government is doing what it takes to ensure the entire country is connected by railways, airways and roads. To boost aviation, Mr Majaliwa noted that the government will ensure all regions have airports.

Briefing the Prime Minister earlier on progress of the SGR project, Tanzania Railway Corporation’s (TRC) Director General, Mr Masanja Kadogosa said that the scheme was implemented to the tune of 10.02 billion US dollars (about 23.3tri/-).

He explained that the project was implemented in two phases, with the first one covering 1,596 kilometres out of which, 1,219 kilometres are for the main-line and 376 kilometres siding loops.

Mr Kadogosa said the first phase was being executed in five lots including lot one from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro, which has reached 99 per cent, lot two covering Morogoro to Dodoma is at 96.61 per cent and the third lot from Singida to Tabora, which has reached 14 per cent.

Moreover, he said lot four from Tabora to Isaka has reached six per cent, while the fifth lot from Mwanza to Isaka in Shinyanga has reached 56 per cent. On top of that, he said the second phase from Tabora to Kigoma will cover 1,685 kilometres which also is in progress by mainly contractors building camps.

The trial started in February this year involving the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro route. He said upon full operation, SGR is expected to spur economic production, industrialisation, trade and tourism. Deputy Minister for Transport, Mr David Kihenzile said yesterday’s trial involved testing of the locomotives, wagons and electricity wiring system.

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