What you need to know:
- The government plans to extend the BRT project to other cities, but it wants to avoid paying huge sums as compensation to land owners to pave the way for the projects.
Dodoma. The Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit Agency (Dart) has finalised feasibility studies in four cities in a process that seeks to reserve project land to reduce the high cost of compensation in future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects.
The government plans to extend the BRT project to other cities, but it wants to avoid paying huge sums as compensation to land owners to pave the way for the projects.
Dart director of human resources and administration, Dr Eliphas Mollel, said such compensations increase the cost of the projects, giving the example of the third phase of the BRT project in Dar es Salaam that saw the government part ways with Sh5.7 billion to compensate 77 landowners in March 2020.
The loss is not only to the government but also to the residents, who have to give up developed properties to pave the way for the projects.
Dr Mollel made the remarks yesterday when responding to the deputy minister in the President’s Office Regional Administrations and Local Government Authority (PO-RALGA), Mr Deogratius Ndejembi, who had urged Dart to start conducting feasibility studies for the BRT project in Dodoma city early enough to reduce incidences of compensation.
“Dart should prepare BRT designs and reserve land to facilitate the construction of the BRT routes, terminals, and depots. This will avoid demolishing people’s property and reduce the cost of compensation,” he said.
Mr Ndejembi was officiating a training workshop for journalists yesterday that focused on equipping the scribes with knowledge on the implementation of the BRT project and its progress.
“We have already done feasibility studies in some cities, such as Mwanza and Mbeya. We are waiting for the Urban Mass Transit Authority Act to be enacted to start operating effectively countrywide,” he said.
Mr Ndejembi acknowledged the heavy investment made by the government to construct the BRT project in Dar es Salaam, saying it was justifiable to reduce urban transport challenges. The government invested $233 million to construct phase one and $141 million for phase two.
“Currently, there are a number of people who do not understand the difference between Dart and Usafiri Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (Udart). Thus, this event has come and will allow you to have a common understanding.
Dart’s acting transport planning manager, Eng Mohamed Kuganda, said one of the biggest challenges they face is accessibility to land, which sometimes contributes to delaying the execution of the BRT project. He said Dart plans to acquire Simu 2000 bus terminal in Dar es Salaam to enable the construction of a BRT depot.
Once the Urban Mass Transit Authority Act came into place. Dart will be able to plan and implement BRTs in other cities such as Dodoma, Tanga, Arusha, Mbeya, Mwanza, and other related areas.