The Uganda Railway
Corporation (URC) is seeking 93.5 Billion shillings to mitigate the effects of
COVID-19 on the sub sector and also repair and maintain its assets.
URC led by their
Managing Director Charles Kateeba were on Tuesday appearing before Parliament’s National
Economy Committee that is interfacing with various businesses to discuss effects of
the Coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
In his submission,
Geoffrey Obala, the URC Chief Civil Engineer told Parliament that the COVID-19
pandemic has heavily impacted on the railway operations and it also came at the
time the Corporation was struggling financially.
Obala said that the 93.5 billion shillings which is needed within six months will go towards support for both
minimum repair and maintenance of assets and funds to support operations
including staff costs, fuel and insurance for staff and assets which are the
major operational costs.
He says the
corporation cannot pay salaries and wages due to very low business and will
also need operational support to run the payroll during the first two years of the
meter Gauge refurbishment as the line will be closed most of the time to allow
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According to the corporation, if the money is availed, it would improve cargo volumes from 18,000 metric
tons to 60,000 metric tonnes and eventually 120,000 metric tonnes.
In the breakdown of the funding, the Corporation is
seeking 4.5 billion shillings to carry out minimal repairs to the railway
line from Kampala to Malaba to improve line stability saying this will help
reduce transit times, reduce accidents and deliver more cargo.
want 1.6 billion shillings to carry out minimum repairs to locomotives and wagons. To Purchase 8 used
mainline locomotives to improve capacity they need 42 billion shillings.
chairperson Syda Bbumba asked the corporation to go back and write a detailed
plan on how they plan to develop the rail sub sector to manage not only
transportation of goods but also passengers.
the URC Managing Director says indeed they will present their short term,
medium and long term strategy to ensure the railway gets enhanced. He says the
challenge has been little funding for the sector as the country concentrated on