Tazara passenger traffic declines by 5pct – report

The number of passengers transported by Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority from January to December, last year, has declined by 5 per cent, according to the 2010 Tazara Annual Economic Report.

According to the report availed to The Guardian in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the number of passengers who were transported during the period was 757,987, against 1,097,250 passengers planned to be transported over the period.

“This is a performance decline of 5 per cent compared to the same period in 2009 when 794,983 passengers were transported. This is due to a dramatically reduced number of available serviceable coaches, arising from a long history of forfeited regular scheduled maintenance,” the report indicated.

The report further explained that low availability and reliability of locomotives and wagons were among factors that affected performance. Most of the equipment skipped periodical maintenance over many years due to liquidity problems facing the company.

It said there were frequent work stoppages in the period due to demands by the workers on the Tanzania side to remove the Zambian workshop manager in Mbeya in September 2010 and Zambian human resources manager in December 2010.

The report showed that the industrial unrest took more than a month, thereby disrupting operations and the trend of gains in the uptake of both freight and passenger traffic.

The report however indicated that despite the serious adverse factors, the Authority managed to achieve a performance level that will provide a good base for positive and sustainable operations in the coming years.

Among others, the management has been cooperating and working with various Chinese enterprises contracted by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC), who are the agents of the Chinese government for delivering on capacity building projects financed by a special loan granted to the two shareholding governments through the 14th Protocol signed in December 2009.

These projects are the procurement of cement for the concrete sleeper plant at Kongolo, rehabilitation of six DE locomotives, supply of six new DE locomotives of not less than 3,000 HP, supply of 9,600 SKF bearings for 1,200 wagons, supply of ninety CDSO wagons, rehabilitation of three CKD locomotives, rehabilitation of four gantry cranes, rehabilitation of three CK6 locomotives, rehabilitation of one rescue crane, and staff training.

All the above projects are in progress and scheduled to be completed by December 2011.

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