Abuja-Kaduna rail project not feasible in May – Amaechi

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday said that the official launching of Abuja-Kaduna rail project would not be feasible on May 29.

Amaechi disclosed this at Idu, Abuja, while inspecting the arrival of two new coaches by the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).

He said that the development was due to earlier refusal of Daughters of Charity Hospital in Kubwa to relocate for the alignment of the rail track.

The minister however said that negotiation had been completed with the hospital, adding that a new facility, including a convent, would be built for them by the contractors on a new site.

“We have two coaches here, the remaining three will arrive in the next 10 days from Lagos but so far we have been able to resolve what made us not to keep to the date.

“The Daughters of Charity hospital refused the demolition of their place to allow for the alignment, the negotiation have taken place and we have agreed that demolition will commence tomorrow.

“The fencing will start from today, we will keep to our own side of the bargain, we have given them the C of O which they have confirmed and the contractors have agreed to build the hospital and convent.

“We have been told by the engineers not to give time anymore for the official launching,” he said.

Amaechi said there would be primary training for 1,000 staff for maintenance of the rail line, while the issue of security and conveyance of passengers from the city centre to Idu rail station would be resolved before the test-run.

The Acting Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria, said the coaches have a life span of 30 years.

He said apart from the routine maintenance of the coaches monthly, quarterly and annually, they would also be conveyed to the manufacturers after 10 years for general overhaul.

Okhiria said out of the five coaches expected, one would be for executive class and another was a parcel van coach designed for passengers with excess luggage.

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