Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry has reached an
understanding with concerned government agencies on acquisition of
land for the proposed railway expansion project.
Kurdi, secretary-general of the council, has said that under the
agreement the company implementing the project will not pay
compensation for government and private properties to be acquired for
move was aimed at cutting the cost for construction companies.
However, Kurdi did not say who would compensate the property owners.
consortium comprising Saudi, Canadian, German and Austrian companies
had come forward with a proposal to implement the multibillion-riyal
project on BOT (build, operate and transfer) basis.
project, which will link the Kingdom’s eastern coast with the
western coast and the northwestern part of the country with the
capital Riyadh, is projected to cost more than SR12 billion ($3.2
billion). It is also aimed at increasing transport facilities to the
Kingdom's untapped mining areas.
least SR4 billion of this will be required to pay compensation to real
estate owners, according to World Bank estimates. The final cost of
the project depends on the technology used and many other factors.
a meeting of businessmen held at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and
Industry on Monday to discuss the project, Kurdi said efforts were
under way to set up four independent companies to undertake the
construction and operation of railways.
meeting agreed to prepare a list of businessmen interested in the
Riyadh-Jeddah railway as an initial step. The meeting, with the
participation of 50 businessmen, approved a resolution stressing the
private sector role in the project.
discussed a number of plans including extension of the service to
accommodate Haj and Umrah pilgrims, linking the network with railways
in neighboring countries, linking of Taif and Yanbu, setting up of
support services to increase economic viability of the project and
restoration of old seaports along the railway.