Ethiopian Railways Corporation (ERC) revealed details of the Addis Light Rail Project around Adwa and St. Abune Petros squares, which were centres of confusion recently.
“As a result, the Menelik II statue will remain intact,” Dr. Getachew Betru, Director of ERC, told a joint press conference with other stakeholders Thursday. “The statue will not be affected by the project neither during the construction nor operational phase,” Dr. Getachew stressed.
The construction, however, will not spare the statue of St. Abune Petros, which was erected in 1941 in memory of the archbishop of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church who was killed by fascist Italian invaders for his support of the national patriots’ movement against Italian aggressors.
“The statue of Abune Petros will be removed during the construction phase as it is en route the underground tunnel,” Dr. Getachew said. “But this is only temporary and it will be erected once the construction is completed.”
The contractor, China Railway Group Limited (CREC), had fenced the area and digging of a 20 metres deep tunnel for the concrete wall is underway.
Culture and Tourism Bureau head Gebre-Stadik Hagos said a committee, which will oversea the removal and subsequent reinstatement of the statue of St. Abune Petros has been formed . The committee is comprised of the city’s Culture and Tourism Bureau, Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage Authority, Addis Ababa City Roads Authority and ERC.
“The task of removing and temporarily erecting the statue at the national museum will be delicately carried out,” Yonas Desta, Director of Addis Ababa Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage Authority said “The statue will be reinstated at exactly the same place,” Yonas said. ERC commenced the 34.25 kms double track electrified light rail transit project in December 2011 after securing funds from Exim Bank of China.
The two line rail tracks extend 17.35kms from east to west direction stretching from Ayat Village to Tor Hailoch passing through Megenagna, Legehar and Mexico. In the north to south direction, a 16.9-kms rail track will pass through Menelik Square, Merkato, Lideta, Legehar, Maskal Square, Gotera and Kaliti. The two directions will have a common track of about 2.8-kms.
The Addis Ababa Light Rail Transit will have a total of 41 rails each with a capacity to carry 286 passengers. This will enable the light rail transit to provide transportation service to 15,000 people per hour in one direction and 60,000 in all four directions.
The corporation plans to complete 42 per cent of the project this budget year, including 80 per cent of soil and civil works.
Originally published on Ethiopian Herald, on March 10, 2013, titled “Corporation discloses/Addis light rail project detail”.
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