By Joseph Omollo
The Minister of State for Transport, Fredrick Byamukama has said the government is in the final stages of procuring a new firm to undertake the construction of stalled $2.2 Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project.
Byamukama while meeting leaders of Tororo district on Tuesday at the district headquarters said the new firm, Yapi Merkezi, a Turkish-based company, will start work in the coming Financial Year.
“The Turkish firm has made submissions of its response that is guiding the government’s request for a construction proposal, paving way for procurement to enable commencement of the construction works,” he said.
The Minister, who apologised to the leaders over the delayed project dismissed claims that the government has given up on the project.
He explained that the government suffered a setback after the Chinese firm, China Harbour Engineering Company, which signed a contract in 2015 to build the first phase of SGR failed to undertake the works.
Mr Byamukama urged local leaders to engage project-affected persons, who are still resisting to embrace the project.
“Its important that this project doesn’t face any other encumbrances when the construction works start in the next financial year as planned,” he said.
Mrs Lillian Tumukunde, the deputy project coordinator for SGR project, said out of the 1753 persons affected in the 52 villages in Tororo district, a total of 1582 have been compensated leaving a balance of only 171.