Breaking

Uganda Railways Corporation Needs UGX 93 Bn to Mitigate COVID-19 Effects

The Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) is seeking 93.5 Billion shillings to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the sub sector and also repair and maintain its assets.
Works Ministry officials led by former Minister Azuba inspect train wheels

Audio 2



The Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) is seeking 93.5 Billion shillings to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the sub sector and also repair and maintain its assets.   

URC led by their Managing Director Charles Kateeba were on Tuesday appearing before Parliament’s National Economy Committee that is interfacing with various businesses to discuss effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy.   

In his submission, Geoffrey Obala, the URC Chief Civil Engineer told Parliament that the COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted on the railway operations and it also came at the time the Corporation was struggling financially.   

Obala said that the 93.5 billion shillings which is needed within six months will go towards support for both minimum repair and maintenance of assets and funds to support operations including staff costs, fuel and insurance for staff and assets which are the major operational costs.   

He says the corporation cannot pay salaries and wages due to very low business and will also need operational support to run the payroll during the first two years of the meter Gauge refurbishment as the line will be closed most of the time to allow refurbishment.

//Cue in: “We need 1.4… C

ue out:…a whole year.”//   

According to the corporation,  if the money is availed, it would improve cargo volumes from 18,000 metric tons to 60,000 metric tonnes and eventually 120,000 metric tonnes.  

In the breakdown of the funding, the Corporation is seeking 4.5 billion shillings to carry out minimal repairs to the railway line from Kampala to Malaba to improve line stability saying this will help reduce transit times, reduce accidents and deliver more cargo.  

They also want 1.6 billion shillings to carry out minimum repairs to locomotives and wagons. To Purchase 8 used mainline locomotives to improve capacity  they need 42 billion shillings.   

The committee chairperson Syda Bbumba asked the corporation to go back and write a detailed plan on how they plan to develop the rail sub sector to manage not only transportation of goods but also passengers. 

Charles Kateeba, the URC Managing Director says indeed they will present their short term, medium and long term strategy to ensure the railway gets enhanced. He says the challenge has been little funding for the sector as the country concentrated on roads.

 //Cue in: “Our issue is…

Cue out:…to three years.”//

Images 1

Keywords

Entities