SGR route set to becomes a new economic zone

20May 2019
James Kandoya
DAR
The Guardian
SGR route set to becomes a new economic zone

THE government is drafting a new land use plan that among other things will designate portions of land along the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line in all districts it passes as a special economic zone once the project is completed.

Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, William Lukuvi.

The Minister for Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, William Lukuvi said at the weekend that to avoid foreseeable hurdles in implementation of the programme, the government will come up a nationwide land use plan covering this portion of land later this year.

 

Lukuvi was addressing residents of Kwala and Soga villages in Kibaha Rural District who live close to the SGR marshalling yard and Kwala dry port, Coast region.

Last Friday, the RC, the DCs and the district executive director (DED) visited the SGR project site view likely opportunities available when it is completed.

Lukuvi affirmed that the plan will be adopted by all districts reached by the SGR project and implement its guidelines.

The government had already formed a ministerial team to  work on the matter to ensure that economic activities in the envisaged zone resemble the real value of the SGR project.

“We have formed a team of experts to that will formulate a land use plan for economic development in the SGR corridor,” he said.

“Once it is over, the plan will be disclosed to the public for people interested to invest on it to see opportunities identified,” he elaborated.

The new railway line has connection with the development of industries since it reduces transport costs, he stated.

 In some districts, the village land will be upgraded to investment grade allocated area relating to its economic potential within the SGR project.

Plots will be allocated for investments covering industries, plantations and hotels, meanwhile as the plan seeks to eliminate conflicts, foster sharper environmental protection and provide more opportunities for investments.

The plan will involve all stakeholders at the national, district and village level, the minister noted.

For her part, the Kibaha Rural District Commissioner, Assumpta Mshana commended the government for well coordinated land use planning saying her district was one of the beneficiaries.

She said her office was looking forward to establish industries and infrastructure so that people living around the dry port can benefit.

“We welcome the government plan that among other things will stimulate economic opportunities in respective districts including ours. It is our hope that our people will benefit mostly from the project investments,” she explained.

On May 10 it was reported that the SGR project would gobble up more than half of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications development budget in the next financial year.

The 2019/20 budget proposals tabled before the National Assembly by the minister, Isack Kamwelwe, shows that 2.5trn /- of the 4.9trn/- development budget, equivalent to 52.1 per cent, will be set aside for the construction of SGR between Dar es Salaam, Tabora, Isaka and Mwanza and between Isaka and Rusumo.

Engineer Kamwelwe requested the legislature to endorse 4.9 trn/-, with development projects getting 14 per cent more than the sum set aside in the current financial year.

“Out of 2.5trn/- for SGR, 2.4trn/- is meant for construction of the Dar es Salaam to Makutupora section,” he said. The remaining sum will go to preparations for construction of the Isaka-Rusumo railway line and the one running from Makutupora-Tabora-Isaka.

Activities to be undertaken include completion of the construction of the 300 kilometres between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro and 422 kilometres linking Morogoro and Makutupora.

 The construction of the SGR first phase, the Dar es Salaam-Morogoro stretch (300 kilometres) will be completed by November, officials noted.