Sunday, 19 August 2012

Eastern province chamber of commerce, trade and industry calls on the zambian government to operationalise the chipata-mchinji railway line

Eastern province chamber of commerce, trade and industry (EPCCI) as called on government to fully operationalise the Chipata-mchinji railway line which was commissioned by former president rupiah Banda in 2010.

Eastern province chamber of commerce, trade and industry president Thomas mtonga says the project which has become a white elephant since it was commissioned once operationalised will help boost trade between Zambia-Malawi and Mozambique.
Mr. Mtonga says the project will not only boost regional integration of the Southern African development countries (SADC) but will help other region blocks which do not house the nacara corridor.
He says currently road transport cost are too high for traders and transporters of various goods between Malawi-Zambia and Mozambique but once the project is fully implemented will reduce the transportation costs.
Mr. Mtonga has stated that the Chipata-mchinji railway project will not only boost economic activities of the province but economic benefits of implementing the project will be felt by citizens from the three countries.
And a trader peter chirwa talked to by the radio phoenix staffer, says government must quickly come to the rescue of traders by ensuring that the Chipata-mchinji railway line starts to operate.
Mr. Chirwa says currently there is steady rise in economic activities between the three countries and government must take advantage of this situation and help improve the economy of eastern province.
Meanwhile Zambia railways’ acting managing director Regina mwale has complained that the lack of operational dry ports and storage sheds is holding back the progress of the railway line operations.
Ms mwale says Zambia railways is awaiting for funding from government to construct the dry ports and storage sheds and upon completion will result in the starting of operation of the wagon trains.
She says dry ports in the region play an important role in that they first facilitate prompt discharge of cargo and containers from rail wagons and trucks, allowing increased turnaround for transport operators.
ms mwale says the ports also help avoiding using rail wagons and trucks as storage, thus freeing transport capacity and facilitate pre-customs clearance of goods, improving transit times and general efficiency.
She has pointed out that dry Ports also allow shipping lines and freight forwarders to issue ‘through bills of lading’, making the container movement easier for the importer and exporter.
ms mwale further says the dry ports also reduce the need for controls to prevent smuggling and customs evasion as the shipments are destined for a controlled dry port where effective controls are in place at the same provide facilities where transporters can be accommodated and do routine maintenance tasks while performing their duties

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