VENTURES AFRICA - Contrary to popular-held opinion by critics that the planned $3billion high speed rail network is ‘a wasteful vanity project’, Morocco’s transportation Minister, Abdelaziz Rebbah has defended it as a project vital to the country’s development.
The planned railway will cover 300KM (185 miles) between the Port of Tangiers and the commercial city of Casablanca. The 200MPH train will cut travel time between the two commercial cities from nearly 5hrs to barely over 2hrs.
“The high speed train is one of the best ways to improve Morocco’s competitiveness,” Rebbah argued after storming out of the organised meeting with critics. He said critics were distributing insulting literature.
Critics says the country cannot afford such fancy rail when much of Morocco is not served by rail. The project is more to improve the relationship with France arguing that the money could be used to build 25 university teaching hospitals or 100 new engineering school.
The no-bid project was awarded to France who had build the Morocco rail during the colonial era. France will be funding the project while the rest will be covered by loans from oil-rich Arab countries in the gulf.
The project is expected to be completed by 2015.
Image via Global Arab Network