The Ministry of Finance has agreed to give the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport 500,000 dinars to cover the cost of contracting with a global consulting office for the “railroad” project instead of one million dinars that had been allocated earlier for the global consulting contract,
However, a local Arabic daily quoting the Ministry of Finance said the amount was reduced to half because there is already a previous study in place and all that the new consultancy office has to do is review and amend it to keep pace with the requirements in accordance with the current government vision.
The sources revealed the obstacles to the implementation of the railway lines and tracks project, including the project lines and tracks, have been reduced to 8, pointing out that the ministerial committee supervising the follow-up of the implementation of major projects, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled, is expected to reduce obstacles.
The sources pointed out that contracting with a global consulting office and completing the study may reduce the obstacles related to the railway tracks, which are obstructed by lands belonging to government agencies, including the warehouses of the Kuwait Flour Mill Company, which is known to be wholly owned by the Kuwait Investment Authority.
The sources explained that the implementation of the railway project will be shorter than what was previously planned, with only the implementation of the “Gulf track” in the first phase, which is 111 km long and extends from the Nuwaiseeb port (Kuwait’s border with Saudi Arabia) to the Shadadiyah area, and contains 4 stations (maintenance, storage, loading of goods and for passengers), indicating that the expected execution period for implementation is estimated at 77 months, starting from the announcement of winning the bid by the contractor.
The railway project is of paramount economic importance, especially in terms of Kuwait’s commitment to agreements with the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to establish a unified railway track to link the Gulf countries among themselves to be one of the modern and safe means of transportation, whether for goods or passengers.
The sources identified the obstacles that hinder the railway tracks, which are as follows:
1 – The railway track crossed within the Scout camp of the Ministry of Education, located in the Kabd region.
2 – The presence of a land allocated for the warehouses of the Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakeries Company in the precinct of the railway track.
3 – The Environment Public Authority found technical obstacles at the project implementation site.
4 – The Ministry of Information has websites that block network paths.
5- The railway crossing at the Research and Innovation Station intersects with the sites of three research projects.
6 – The services of the Ministry of Communications (the telephone network) extend parallel to the road (Sabah Al-Ahmad City – Al-Wafra Agricultural) and (Mina Al-Zour – Al-Wafra), and it is among the tracks designated for the railway network.
7- Existence of lands belonging to the Ministry of Defense.
8 – Crossing the railway track within the drakes located in the Kabd area and designated for the benefit of the Public Authority for Industry.
Informed sources said that the problem of the tracks lies in the presence of lands that obstruct the railways, which belong to government agencies, stressing the need for the ministerial committee supervising the follow-up to the implementation of major projects affiliated to the Council of Ministers to gather the officials of these agencies and solve this dilemma that has been facing the major development project.
The sources confirmed that the ministerial committee supervising the follow-up to the implementation of major projects is working in full swing to remove obstacles to vital development projects that have been locked in the drawers for many years, stressing that during the next two months there will be announcements about moving the wheel of completion by introducing new contracting practices with private consulting offices to begin the process of implementation.
It is noteworthy that the Council of Ministers announced a few weeks ago its move to complete the following development projects — the Entertainment City, the People’s Park, addressing the existing conditions in Naqaat Al-Shamlan, the labor cities, the air cargo city at Kuwait International Airport, the Al-Subbiya entertainment project, the railway track in Kuwait, the Al-Saffarin market, jousing cities, designing, constructing, operating, maintaining and converting rest stops on highways and chalet service centers, establishing construction and tourism development projects on Failaka Island (resorts, parks, and chalets).