KUWAIT CITY, Jan 9: According to reliable sources, the work on the design of the Gulf railway tracks will be launched on December 2, 2021 and will continue for 20 months until August 2, 2023, reports Al-Qabas daily.
During the period from June 1, 2021 to December 2, 2021, an international consultant will be selected. The floatation of the project is initially scheduled for December 4, 2023 and would extend to September 4, 2024.
According to a government report, the construction phase by the foreign investor is expected to start in the first quarter of 2025, according to the schedule set for the implementation of the project, provided no unexpected obstacles occur.
It stressed the importance of accelerating the pace of issuance of necessary approvals by the Municipal Council regarding the land disputes among the government agencies, and the allocation of alternative land.
The government report insisted that priority will be to implement the stage of the Gulf railway that is concerned with the agreement of the Gulf Cooperation Council member states, provided that the construction of other tracks will start at a later time.
It highlighted that the method for implementing the project will be through the partnership between the public and private sectors – local or foreign – or in cooperation between them.
According to the report, the railway tracks will start from the south of the country, particularly from the borders of Saudi Arabia. The first phase of the project consists of four stations starting from Nuwaiseeb area and ending in Farwaniya Governorate. It will consist of storage, loading, passenger, and maintenance stations with a total length of 111 kilometers, and at an estimated cost of KD 603 million.
In the same context, government sources indicated the issuance of ministerial resolution No. 9/2020 regarding the establishment of a committee to follow up and implement the railway track project in the country.
This committee is carrying out its work of collecting all the information related to the project and reviewing the designs and the guidelines in order to determine the justifications for the delay of the project, and then issuing a statement concerning the feasibility of its implementation.
The committee affirmed the importance of preserving the current railway tracks in accordance with the third plan of Kuwait without making any changes in order to avoid wasting public funds.
It is worth mentioning that the national railway project consists of an integrated network linking the north and south of the country. It includes three tracks with a total length of 565 kilometers – the Gulf, the commercial and the economic. There will be a number of stations specialized in loading and storage, in addition to a project that serves passenger transportation operations, freight and cargo transportation operations, as well as maintenance stations.
The representative of the State Properties Department in the Ministry of Finance stated that the evaluation and payment of compensation to the owners of the 13 agricultural holdings that obstruct the railway path have been completed.
The representative of the Public-Private Partnership Authority stressed that it was not possible to offer the subscription before the completion of the implementation of the project, as the citizens’ subscription process will start after the full operation of the railway project.
The committee in charge of studying the railways file affirmed the importance of financial and economic feasibility to approve the offering of the subscription before or during the implementation of the project, for its initial financing, thus reducing the burden on public funds.
The Public Authority for Roads and Transportation (PART) revealed that the number of government agencies that have facilities obstructing the railway project is 18. Of these, ten represent major conflicts that require the presence of a specialized global advisor to resolve these conflicts so that the Public Authority for Partnership and the public and private sectors can launch the project.
The representative of Kuwait Municipality stressed the importance of preserving the current tracks according to the third plan without making any changes to avoid wasting public money, provided that an international engineering consultant is available to provide a detailed study on the design of the tracks.
The follow-up and implementation Committee concluded the division of the railway project into three tracks – the Gulf track for the Gulf link, the commercial route that connects to Mubarak Al-Kabeer Port, and the economic route that connects the northern region and the new economic zones.