The first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) connecting Dar se salaam and Morogoro (the business capital) to the East will begin in December.

Tanzania’s Minister for works, transportation and communication, Isack Kemwelwe confirmed that procurement of the necessary equipment for the project have been concluded.

“We have already set some funds to purchase the engines and also begun procurement of 1,430 cargo wagons, 20 locomotives, 60 passenger carriages and five sets of multiple trains,” said Mr. Kamwelwe.

The Minister also confirmed that payments will be made to the local sub contractors to ensure a smooth and speedy delivery of the project.

“Once local contractors do their work they should be paid accordingly and on time because if they are not paid on time it could delay the SGR project” said Mr. Kamwelwe.

Local contractors have in the past complained of delay in payments, we hope the Minister will this time keep to his word to avoid any delay in the project.

The 1,435mm track gauge and line length of 1,800km SGR will link neighboring countries like Rwanda and Uganda. The total cost of the first phase is US$1.9bn. The train is expected to run up to 160 kilometers per hour.

Construction for Dar se salaam to Morogoro has reached 56% while Dodoma to Maktopola is at 12%. On completion, it will be the fifth modern railway in Eastern Africa that uses both electricity and diesel.

The railway will enable easy and fast movement from town to town as well as improve the country’s economy. But the question troubling the surrounding communities where the SGR and its stations will pass through is will they be compensated for any damages?

Are they even supposed to be compensated for the development of their regions?

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