Domestic Economy

Transportation Reform Prerequisite for Development

Transportation Reform  Prerequisite for DevelopmentTransportation Reform  Prerequisite for Development

Improving the national transportation system and developing the railroad network are at the core of the government's agenda, says First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri.

He made the remark at a meeting with officials of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development on Tuesday to review the ministry's strategic plans for development of the transportation system. The meeting also focused on finding ways to finance major infrastructure development projects.

Noting that the government's funding is insufficient to meet the costs of these projects, Jahangiri suggested providing incentives from the National Development Fund to encourage private sector's participation in the projects, IRNA reported.

"Financing is a crucial factor in infrastructure development of roads, railroads, harbors and airports as the government does not have enough budget to bring major reforms to the national transportation system," said Jahangiri.

As part of the meeting, Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi read a report of the ministry's major plans for improving the transportation system. He called on lawmakers to arrive at decisions that would boost investment in the transportation sector to help complete unfinished infrastructural projects.

He mentioned plans by the ministry to develop the national transport network by creating 10 new corridors across the country.

"Creating new corridors and connecting the national transport network to international corridors are crucial for implementing long-term development plans," said Akhoundi.

Chairman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Mohsen Pour Seyyed Aghaie presented to the meeting details of 10 major railroad development projects, including preliminary cost estimates and technical assessments.

The proposed railroad projects include the construction of 4,438 kilometers of track line with an estimated budget of 350 trillion rials ($10.6 billion at market exchange rate).

> 43.5m Tons of Cargo Transport

Director of Transportation Department at the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways Ebrahim Mohammadi on Wednesday announced plans for transport of 43.5 million tons of cargo, equivalent to 26.9 million ton-kilometers (tkm) through the country's railroad network during the current Iranian year (started March 21).

The objectives set out by IRIR include transporting 27 million tons of domestic goods, 10.5 million tons of export goods, 4.1 million tons of import goods and 1 million tons of goods-in-transit during the period, he said.

Carrying this amount of cargo requires the use of 24,700 freight wagons. Last year, a total of 22,437 freight wagons and 437 locomotives were in operation across the country, he added.

According to Mohammadi, achieving the set objectives in cargo transport requires improving the railroad network's capacity through the implementation of various projects, including construction of new stations and double-tracking the rail lines.

The main commodities transported through the national rail network include iron ore, iron concentrate, pellets, various metals, petroleum products, coal, wheat, barley, corn, vehicles, chemical fertilizers and cement.