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#282
Madagascar
Keymaster

The idea of ​​joining the Betsileo to the sea by a railway is not new. Writes the Bread engineer quoted by Colonel Forgeot in its report on the future path: “A few months after taking Antananarivo, early in 1896 a company was formed in France under the title of auxiliary Society settlement, in order to create a direct communication between Fianarantsoa and the East coast. This communication should be a toll road, and later, a railway with such port of the mouth of the culmination Faraony. The tonnage of goods transiting annually on Fianarantsoa is then estimated at 4,500 tons. “A bill conceding this route of communication to the Company was tabled in 1897 but never ratified. He then abandoned because the company demanded a guarantee until the total traffic of the line reaches 15,000 tons. A ministerial decision of 7 February 1899 declared the resolution of the agreement with the Company. However, the construction of the TCE (Antananarivo-East Coast to Toamasina), begun in 1901 amid countless difficulties, postponed that of the FCE (Fianarantsoa-East Coast) to a point on the southeast coast. The idea is taken in 1915 and the construction is decided. A study mission is tasked with finding the point of completion of the railway. The instructions received from the Governor General Hubert Garbit, Engineer Bidel, state: “If technical or financial reasons preclude the choice of Mananjary, the mission should look for another point that can be used for this purpose, as close as possible to Mananjary. It should in particular focus attention on the Manakara region. Bidel concludes that the location of the port can only be determined after an evaluation of the construction price of the line. The study of the possible route is entrusted to the assistant engineer Mangin. The result of the work that two plots are to remember Ambohimahasoa-Fianarantsoa-Manakara and Mananjary or mouth of Faraony. But as some hesitations remain, Hubert Garbit decided to create a brigade of studies that would report a plot with as culmination Mananjary (1916). A Commission of three persons is appointed on 8 September. Its mission is to examine the advantages and disadvantages of each of the points of the coast could be chosen as head end, including Bay Faraony, Mahela and especially Manakara and Mananjary. It began operations in the latter city on October 5, 1920 and obtained from Hubert Garbit also to consider the economic point of view. It first advocates a previously neglected point, the Marohita Lake between Manakara and Mananjary, which, separated from the sea by 180m of dune, presents funds likely to be used for a deep-water port. However, a dense rocky bank is under the dune and the considerable work that should have been executed for the drill, do give up this choice. The Commission concluded that Manakara should be adopted as the terminus of the Betsileo line, permanently removing Mananjary, the mouth of Faraony and Mahela Bay north of Mananjary, which was also discussed for a moment. The choice of Manakara is explained by the fact that this city is in the economic and geographic focus areas dependent countries Betsileo- tanala, former provinces of Mananjary, Manakara and Farafangana-. The area of ​​influence of the railroad to build not likely to encroach on the areas served by the East Coast line-Antananarivo (to Toamasina). In addition, the route by 41km Manakara reduces the path of Fianarantsoa to the coast and the economy that results, essentially represents the expenditure envisaged for the construction of the port of Manakara. Thus, exploitation allows a saving on transport and thereby reduces the burden on the products the downhill. In addition, the profile of the route passing by Manakara is less troubled than it should have been adopted to achieve Mananjary: it requires less expenditure for both the cost of building and for the operation, where economy which users will benefit. The creation of a port in Manakara will also be less expensive than Mananjary. Finally, what facilities provide the landing of the necessary equipment to the railway, the fixity of the sands, the presence of a rocky threshold sheltering the estuary and other technical considerations militate in favor of the choice of Manakara. Moreover, Mananjary is already a successful small town and an important and ancient settlement highlights the Mananjary Valley and its tributaries.