THE Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) has completed evaluation of two firms short listed to undertake the concession of Njanji Commuter Railway Services and is expected to make a decision soon.
ZDA communications manager, Margaret Chimanse, said the board was currently reviewing a report submitted by the technical committee which evaluated the bids.
Ms Chimanse said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that the board was still looking into the matter and was expected to make a decision anytime soon.
“The board is reviewing the situation and looking into it. It has not yet decided but will do that once it sits next time,” she said.
Last year ZDA was evaluating bids from two companies that showed interest to undertake the concession of Njanji Commuter Service (NCS) assets.
The assets are mainly the railway line within Lusaka covering a distance of 13.5 kilometers.
The two bids evaluated were one from a consortium of Lusaka Metro Limited with Circle Capital Global a South African company and City Rail Limited of Lusaka.
If the technical committee appointed to evaluate the bids failed to select a final bidder from the two submitted, the concession would have to be re-advertised.
The ZDA board is expected to approve selection of the final bidder to carry out a concession of NCS.
The concession period is for 15 years renewable based on performance.
According to the agency, bidders were free to propose the development and restoration of the original NCS railway line from Chilenje to George townships.
The technical proposals were to address possible re modeling and rehabilitation and investment methods such as Build and Operate and Transfer and variants of BOTs schemes.
The agency says the operator would be expected to invest in rolling stock and rehabilitation of the rail track.
Recently, two firms expressed interest to undertake the concession of NCS assets after ZDA invited qualified operators to undertake the concession.
The NCS has been dormant for 11 years after it ceased operation in 1996.
Government has also noted encroachments on the railway track route through the residential areas east of the city center.
At the peak of its operations, the commuter served the needs of thousands of passengers who found it cheaper than buses.
Zambia Daily Mail