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Long wait for rail line rehabilitation

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ZIMPITA—Government has a duty

The 49-kilometre Bangula to Sandama section of the Limbe-Marka rail line would only be considered in the next budget, an official from the Ministry of Finance has hinted.

Public Sector Investment Programme (PISP) Principal Secretary Patrick Zimpita said the Treasury is waiting for budget lines from the Ministry of transport for the project to be considered in the next financial year.

The government is yet to identify a consulting engineer to design of the stretch.

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“Our job as Ministry of Finance is to identify resources for the project and that is the reason we are already thinking about the second phase of the project.

“This was identified as one of the flagship projects that the government is going to finance using a local currency bond,” Zimpita.

Zimpita said the rail line will be done along the road Thyolo to Chiromo road project.

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First phase of the project which is the stretch between Marka and Bangula was yet to commence but the contractor was already identified.

Commenting on the delay, Zimpita said the contractor was conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment Study.

“For any project you have to start with an environmental impact assessment so that you know the terrain and what the project is going to affect and this is important and the company is doing it now and it will inform how they carry out the project,” Zimpita added.

The Limbe-Marka rail line will connect Malawi to the port of Beira in Mozambique and is expected to reduce the cost of importing strategic commodities into the country.

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