Egypt Railway Authority's debt reaches EGP 250 bln: Presidency spokesperson

Ahmed Morsy , Saturday 16 May 2020

Sisi
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi during his meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Trasport Minister Kamel El-Wazir on Saturday (photo courtesy of presidential spokesperson)

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah EL-Sisi discussed on Saturday with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir the executive position of the projects of the ministry, the development and modernisation of the railway network, as well as the possible solutions to settle the debts of the Railway Authority, which total about EGP 250 billion.

The transport minister reviewed during the meeting the debt of the Railway Authority in detail, which owes the Central Bank about EGP 100 billion in addition to EGP 150 billion in loans from the state budget for the projects currently implemented by the ministry, according to a statement by presidency spokesperson Bassam Rady.

According to Rady, El-Sisi ordered the swift completion of the railway network development plan, and the construction of new lines to connect the various parts of the country, especially linking ports to the existing railway network after its development and the supply of tractors and modern carriages from international companies.

Egypt’s railway network is among the world’s oldest, with 9,570km of tracks running across the country. It transports 500 million passengers annually, an average of 1.4 million passengers each day, according to Egyptian National Railways (ENR).

Nevertheless, according to experts, the railway network, which has 85 percent of its signalling system at crossings still using manual signalling rather than automation, needs to be radically upgraded.

Rady added that the meeting also discussed the executive and contractual status regarding the development of the railways, including tractors and new coaches, and the renewal and maintenance of railways.

El-Wazir also reviewed developments in the construction of new road networks and bridges in various governorates, especially in Upper Egyptian governorates, which are seeing the establishment of a number of major axes on the River Nile, Rady noted.

Among these projects is raising the efficiency of the ring road surrounding Greater Cairo, as well as developing the Cairo-Assiut-Aswan road and the Cairo-Alexandria agricultural road, the statement said.

The meeting also touched on the efforts of comprehensive development of Alexandria port, increasing the area of ​​its quays, developing services and the customs department at the port, and establishing a multi-storey garage for imported cars.

They also tackled the development works of El-Dekheila port, in addition to linking the two ports with three main axes on the international coastal road.

The minister of transport also presented the latest developments in the implementation of the electric train that will connect the New Administrative Capital with Cairo's neighbourhoods.

Last year, Madbouly witnessed the signing of an executive agreement with the Chinese bank Exim to provide a $1.2 billion soft loan for the implementation of Egypt’s first electric train that connects the cities of Greater Cairo, Obour, Shorouk, Mostaqbal and Robiki with the New Administrative Capital.

The electric train, which will be constructed by Chinese firms under the supervision of the Ministry of Transportation, will be connected with the third line of the Cairo underground network in Salam City’s Adli Mansour Metro station.

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