#Algeria, #Tunisia Working to Achieve Rail Infrastructure Compatibility

The Algeria-Tunisia rail link, dependent on infrastructure compatibility

ALGIERS- Algeria and Tunisia are working to link their respective rail networks, said in Algiers, the former Minister of Public Works, and former Acting Minister of Transport, Farouk Chiali, who indicated that this project remains dependent on the compatibility of infrastructure in both countries.

During a plenary session devoted to oral questions to the National People’s Assembly (APN), chaired by its president, Slimane Chenine, the minister specified that the realization of the project to link the national rail network to the Tunisian network “remains dependent on the compatibility of the infrastructure of the rail transport companies of the two countries, an objective which Algeria and Tunisia are working to achieve “.

In response to a question from the deputy, Seddik Bekhouche of the National Party for Solidarity and Development (PNSD) on the transport sector, of all types, in Tébessa, Mr. Chiali recalled that several projects have been carried out or relaunched at the level of this border wilaya as part of public programs aimed at improving services and ensuring citizens’ means of transport.

In this context, he referred to several development projects for the national rail network linking Algiers and Tébessa with a view to reducing travel times, in particular through increasing the speed of trains and protecting and securing the line by support for crossing points.

In this regard, he observed that from November 20, 2019, three trips were scheduled per week for the Tébessa-Algiers line with trains having all the conditions of comfort to ensure better service. A 165 km railway line linking Tébessa-Ain M’lila has been completed and is currently in service.

Regarding the line linking Tébessa Bir El Ater, the minister assured that this region will be covered as part of the project to build the new mining rail line linking Djebel Onk-Annaba passing through Bir El Ater and Tébessa.

In the urban and suburban field, Mr. Chiali indicated that the realization of the Tramway of the city of Tébessa is not possible, all the more so, he added, that a study prepared by an office of specialized studies had concluded from the unsuccessfulness of the project currently.

Regarding the opening of an air service connecting Tébessa airport to Turkey, the interim Minister of Transport affirmed the completion of a study that proved the unsuccessfulness of the project, especially as the demand for this service represents only 0.5% of all requests recorded through Air Algeria in this wilaya.

Responding to a question from deputy Safi Larabi of the National Democratic Rally (RND), around the date of the lifting of the freeze on the issuance of the booklet of taxi transport places in Aflou (W. Laghouat) and the adaptation of this service depending on the number of inhabitants of this region, the Minister reported the exploitation of some 629 authorizations to exercise the activity of transporting people by individual and collective taxis in the daïra d’Aflou until the month of December 2019.

The Minister also indicated that after registering an increase in demand for transport, 120 additional authorizations were issued on 23 December 2019, of which 82 have been granted to date, bringing the overall number of authorizations currently in use to 71, while administrative procedures are ongoing for the issuance of the remaining 38.

According to the explanations of the Minister, the number of buses and taxis authorized to operate is “sufficient” at present, in order to meet the demand for travel, recorded in the Daïra d’Aflou, affirming that the capacity of movement in this daïra will be strengthened, in coordination with local authorities, where appropriate.

Thus, 23 collective passenger transport lines exist at the daïra level and are operated by 169 buses. As well as additional ministerial authorizations have been issued to strengthen these lines, in recent years, namely the allocation of 17 lines, including 08 urban lines and 09 rural, operated by 41 new buses, which brings the total number of buses to 210.  

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