Railway Project

1 January 2017

The report examines the project terms and conditions for the proposed Underground Railway system in Kampala to eliminate fleet road congestions written for the Ministry of Works & Transport (MOWT). The volume of traffic in Kampala has caused of fleet road congestion which is characterized by slow speeds, long trip times, and increased vehicular queuing. This has called for the Ministry to initiate a proposal to start an Underground Railway.

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The existing surface railway is dilapidated and was in November 2006 put under Riftvalley Railways concession for 25 years making any plans to reutilise or determine activities on it dependent on the concessioner. The space in Kampala is exhausetd because of road construction and unabated construction of new buildings. The Ministry has therefore proposed a 72 km underground tunnel which will elude constraints like ‘right of way’ payments, space availability and interference with the RVR concession. The report enumerates the proposed management of the project with the project goals and objectives.

Plausible activities that would enable achievement of the major objective are categorised in three phases i. e. the preparatory phase where all necessary documentation are drafted and approved and a schedule of activities drawn. The construction work will be handled in the construction phase and the implementation phase will entail recruitments and trainings to set the tunnel into operation. The major external and internal stakeholders and their involvement in the project have been identified and detailed. These included among others the Project Management Team, Government Ministries, Residents in the vicinity, the media.

Many undertaken projects have financial, social and other costs and benefits which assist in assessing viability and decision to proceed. The social costs and benefits of construction of the railway have been identified with costs like environment damage during construction noise pollution and vibration, exhaustion of non renewable resources ,revenue loss for taxi operators, opportunity costs foregone, and benefits of traffic decongestion, employment opportunities and improved standard of living, increased business opportunities among others.

The budget estimates totalling $24,932,984,498. 48 were drawn based on the identified activities and assumptions made. The Ministry cannot fund the project to completion alone and therefore various sources of funds have been suggested in the report. With the information provided, the project will be successful if recommendations are adhered to. List of Acronymns ADBAfrican Development Bank CBDCentral Business District EUEuropean Union HEPHydroelectric Power JICAJapanese International Cooperation Agency

The volume of traffic in Uganda generates demand for space greater than the available road capacity. Increase in urban population due to uninhibited births, rural-urban migration, coupled with improving standards of living, influx of various trade opportunities and narrow roads are the predominant causes of fleet road congestion in the urban areas in Uganda. Urban dwellers have in the recent past taken to acquisition of vehicles despite the economic situation through access to loans that support vehicle acquisitions.

When transport requirements are high the interaction between vehicles slows the speed of the traffic stream, increases periods of vehicle queing and trip times causing congestion. The Ministry of Works & Transport in Uganda has a vision “To have a reliable and safe infrastructure in public works and transport that will deliver timely, quality, cost effective and sustainable services to the people of Uganda” thus its mandate to promote adequate, safe and well maintained public works and transport infrastructure to effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

MOWT is charged with the duty of planning, development and maintenance of economic, efficient and effective road, rail and water transport systems, obliging it propose construction of an Underground Railway system in Kampala to eliminate fleet congestions. The Ministry will ensure development and provision of passenger and freight rail infrastructure and services to address transportation needs in Kampala and advance the citizens’ quality of life, safety, environmental and economic sustainability. The existing surface railway system is dilapidated and greatly unutilized.

Its coverage through Kampala would however not support the volumes currently ferried by roads. KR & UR are under concession a 25 years to RVR. URC was left to monitor non-core assets, concession performance and regulation on behalf of the government. Renegotiations were done in 2010 because targets hadn’t been met to allow for funding and enhanced management, thus any project to construct an ‘overhead’ railway line would be met with resistance because of interference with the agreement terms and conditions.

In addition, a technologically advanced rail service needs to be developed to better future advancement possibilities without isolating middle or upper class citizens in respect of quality. An underground railway is favourable to circumvent constraints and costs like ‘right of way’ payments, interference with the RVR concession etc.

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