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Roads, Urban Development Minister inaugurates MSC-funded projects

Riz train station, which connects Saba Steel Complex, an affiliate of Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC), to the national railway and phase 3 of a freeway skirting Isfahan on its western side have been inaugurated.
A host of senior officials were on hand for the inaugural, among them: Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi, the governor general of Isfahan Province, the managing director of Mobarakeh Steel Company, the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways' vice-president for technical and infrastructural affairs, deputies representing Lenjan and Mobarakeh in the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the director general of Isfahan Provincial Railways Department, the managing director of Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company, the director general of Isfahan Provincial Roads, Housing and Urban Development Department, as well as governors, mayors and council members of Lenjan and Mobarakeh.
According to the correspondent of the Steel Newsletter, at the ceremony, Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi described MSC's investment in and contribution to these two projects as significant and said inauguration of the train station is in line with policies communicated by the Supreme Leader in relation to the Sixth Development Plan.
He said measures should be taken to replace transportation of cargo and passengers on roads with rail transport, adding the new project which has been completed thanks to MSC investment and contribution has seen a shift of transportation mode from road to railway for as much as 3 million tons of goods. What is an important development is that the new station also sets the stage for the transfer via railways of the raw materials Saba Steel Complex needs and transportation of part of the products it sells to customers across the country.
The transport chief went on to say the newly-inaugurated project directs new passengers toward and from Isfahan and could serve as some sort of suburban metro system. That is a good development in our efforts to link our cities not just via roads but through railways. The same network can eventually be linked to metropolitan subways.
The minister of roads and urban development noted that a huge railway project linking Zarin Shahr to Bafgh is underway. The megaproject which features 566 km of tracks is more than 60 percent complete.
He said he hopes inauguration of the megaproject, which removes one of the biggest transport bottlenecks in Isfahan, will be one of the biggest developments in the railway transportation.
Akhundi appreciated the efforts of those who contributed to completion of phase 3 of the freeway which bypasses Isfahan on the western side of the metropolis and said thanks to God's grace a 15-km stretch of the highway has been completed. We hope phase 4 of this freeway, which stretches toward Shar-Reza and has just been launched, will soon be inaugurated.
At the same event, MSC Managing Director Dr. Bahram Sobhani said the fact that Mobarakeh Steel Company and its affiliate Saba Steel Complex were located in two different towns, Mobarakeh and Lenjan, respectively, necessitated measures to develop transportation between these two cities.
He further said the areas around these two towns are dotted with roads but those roads are not extensive enough to handle the transfer of 10 million tons of steel products and close to 20 million tons of raw materials. Dr. Sobhani said the new stretch of highway that bypasses Isfahan facilitates transportation and travel to the north, Tehran and other provinces. In light of the fact that part of the freeway in question passed – in Korkvand – through an expanse of land that belonged to MSC, despite an array of problems, our company decided to hand over the land in question to the contractor in charge of building the highway.      
Sobhani said he was happy that MSC made the completion of this project a reality as part of its convergence with society and fulfillment of social responsibilities. He thanked the Ministry of Roads and the entity that made investment in the project and said it was a “national project” that was successfully completed as a result of resolve on the part of all institutions involved.  
Recalling the investment MSC made in building Riz train station, the managing director of the steel giant said that since raw materials are of great importance to the workings of steelmakers, it was necessary for Saba Steel Complex to receive as much as 2.5 million tons of raw materials from mines via the railway network.
He said conservation of energy, safe transfer of cargo and passengers and a drop in transportation costs are some of the advantages associated with railways and added the MSC-funded railway access to Saba Steel Complex through Riz train station makes it possible to transfer passengers as well as the cargo of the steelworks. This in turn reduces road traffic, allowing passengers to travel more safely.
The MSC chief noted that the steel giant has made 93 billion tomans in investment in the projects, of which 44 billion tomans has gone to construction of Riz train station and 49 billion has been spent on the link between Saba Steel Complex and the national railway system.
In conclusion, Dr. Sobhani said although Mobarakeh Steel Company had to let go of part of the land in its possession to complete these projects, it is an honor for the company to have served the Iranian people which is the biggest achievement of the project. What makes this project praiseworthy is the fact that it has secured public satisfaction and at the same time served the interests of the industry, he said.
On the sidelines of the ceremony, Mohsen Koohkan, a deputy that represents Lenjan in parliament, told a correspondent of Steel Newsletter that what happened today in cooperation with Mobarakeh Steel Company was a greet development; it is not the first such development and won't be the last.
He went on to say whenever the steel industry has made investment in and contributed to public affairs, the interests of both society and the industry have been served. Earlier, MSC served the local community by investing in a project to collect and treat the urban wastewater of the towns of Lenjan and Mobarakeh. These most recent projects serve the interests of both members of the public and the industry, and this is praiseworthy.
MP labels Isfahan projects as nationally important
Meanwhile Zahra Saeedi, who represents Mobarakeh in the Islamic Consultative Assembly, described the two projects as national and said certainly all people will benefit from their completion.
She said the new stretch of freeway will certainly reduce the number of road accidents in the area and called for immediate completion of its final phase. Recalling the role of Isfahan Province in the overall development of the country, she said two major corridors pass through Isfahan Province that directs traffic and cargo in all directions, one goes toward Shiraz and the other toward Khuzestan in the southwest. That is why the province has always been the site of many accidents. Fortunately, the inauguration of the highway will ease such problems.
In conclusion she said, in addition to residents of the towns in the region and Isfahan industry, these projects serve all people who travel through Isfahan Province and contribute to their safety.

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