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Government justifies delays over construction of Bangula-Marka railway

Minister of transport and public works, Jacob Hara says redesigning of Bangula- Marka railway has delayed the construction works of the railway in Nsanje District.

Hara was speaking after he inspected construction works of the railway underway in the lower shire district.

He said cyclones have forced the engineers to redesign the project to avoid railway wash away in the future

“Lucky enough cyclones came before we had gone far with the project. A lot of streams were developed and rivers changed directions which has forced us to raise the railway design and also to construct additional bridges that were not on the first design,” he said.

He assured people in the district that government will provide all necessary support to the contractor in order for the project to move faster so that people in the country should start enjoying the benefit of railway transport.

“The price of commodities will go down as the cost of transporting goods on railway is cheaper than road transport. As government we will provide all necessary support so that the project should be completed,” said the minister.

Minister of Transport and other officials inspecting the railway project in Nsanje

Hara assured people that by the end of this year a locomotive from Beira will be able to reach Nsanje Boma.

He said:”We want to import fertilizer through railway this year. We may have delayed with the project but we want to construct the railway that will be resilient to natural calamities like floods that are common in the district. To achieve this, we had no choice but to change the designs because of the experience we learnt from Cyclone Freddy.”

The minister said the redesigning and the devaluation of the kwacha has forced the project cost to be revised.

Speaking during the ministerial visit, Project Manager at China Railway 20 (CR20) Zhinan Gua. said once all resources are in place the first part of Marka- Nsanje will be completed by September this year.

Senior Chief Chimombo appealed to government to make sure that there is speed in the construction works of the project, saying the railway line will unlock economic opportunities of people in Nsanje and the whole nation.

“There will be cargo from Mozambican port of Beira coming here to Malawi and some people will find job, others will be doing business and it will lift the face of Nsanje as it will invite investors in various fields,” he said.

He appealed for good working relationship between government and the contractor to speed up the construction works.

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