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Egypt's new Transport Minister El-Wazir says 'no room for mistakes in railway sector'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 12 Mar 2019
Kamel El-Wazir
Egypt's new Transport Minister Kamel El-Wazir meeting with top officials at the ministry (Photo courtesy of the Transport Ministry)

Egypt's new Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir urged workers and officials in the country's railway sector to work persistently in accordance with the plan to develop the sector by June 2020, stressing that he "would not allow mistakes to take place in this sector, which is used by millions of citizens daily."

On Tuesday, El-Wazir paid his first field visit to Cairo's Ramses Railway Station, the scene of a fatal train crash that killed 22 people and injured some 40 others on 27 February.

The minister stated that developing the railway system is currently the Ministry of Transport's top priority, stressing that security and safety factors are the most important elements of this system.

El-Wazir stressed the strict implementation of reward and punishment regulations among workers and officials.

The minister added that he will follow up during the upcoming period on the implementation of a comprehensive training programme to qualify railway workers, as well as developing the railway's fleet of tractors and locomotives so that citizens can enjoy improved services.

El-Wazir said that the upcoming period will witness projects and procurement deals by the Railway Authority including the procurement of 1,300 new passenger carriages, six new trains, 200 new locomotives and 300 new cargo carriages.

He added that the projects to renovate railway signals, railways, train stations and crossings will go forward.

The new minister held long meetings with Egypt's Railway Authority officials, as well as workers and employees to discuss their demands and requests.

"We will not meet again inside our offices, from now on our meetings will be held at railway platforms and stations," El-Wazir said, addressing officials and workers at Ramses Railway Station. 

Egyptian MPs approved in a session on Sunday the president's appointment of El-Wazir, the now former head of the army's Engineering Authority, as the new minister of transport.

Egypt's now former minister of transport Hesham Arafat resigned on 27 February, shortly after Ramses station crash.

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