Expedite Road Works, RDA Told

THREE Cabinet ministers who inspected the progress on the construction of roads in Lusaka yesterday have urged the Road Development Agency (RDA) to harmonise the road contracts and expedite the works.

The ministers expressed concern over the slow pace of the road works and urged the RDA to ensure that progress was made towards completion.

The three were Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda, Local Government and Housing Minister Emmanuel Chenda and his counterpart at Transport, Works, Supply and Communications, Yamfwa Mukanga.

“We promised the people of Zambia that we shall construct the roads, hence the launch of the road projects by the President. You harmonise the road contracts and include the locals for their benefits,” said Mr Chenda on behalf of other ministers after a tour of selected road projects.

The Pave Zambia 2000 was established to create employment for the youth in the country but after inspecting the road in Lusaka’s Kuku Township, it was discovered that only 800 metres were done out of the 7.2 kilometres.

“Work is going on well, we have a few challenges but we are headed for the best. As Finance minister, all I want is to see harmonisation of the road contracts so that the local contractors and the youth are included, also the presence of the city council is missing,” Mr Chikwanda said.

Mr Chenda said the works should have now been completed as the projects were launched a long time ago.

“The initial plan was for the projects to benefit the youth, but as we have seen there are no youths doing any works. All we see are people from RDA and consultants conducting works, let the youth benefit,” he said.

Mr Chenda said RDA had the resources required for it to finish the works, saying the Government was eager to see congestion reduced in the city as promised during their campaigns.

Mr Mukanga bemoaned the poor road markings on Chinika roads.

He directed all those engaged on the road to ensure that they contracted companies that were able to buy original and genuine road paints which could last longer and avoid accidents on the busy roads.

“These road markings are already fading. Why hire contracting companies that cannot buy genuine road paints? These roads need to be re-done, leaving them like this might cause many accidents,” Mr Mukanga said.

And RDA chief executive officer Bernard Chiwala said 19 people had been employed in Chawama for the pavement-layer construction and a further 30 were expected to be employed once the laying of pavers started.

“The relocation of services in most roads is a challenge and the amount provided in the contract, which is US$5 million, is not enough and in some cases there is need to demolish structures and re-route service lines for different utilities,” he said.

Mr Chiwala said land acquisition on some roads, especially in built-up areas, was a challenge, especially on the Lusaka’s Chazanga-Kabanana Road where some farm owners had refused to allow the road tompass through their land.

He said the other challenge was the lack of drawings from utility companies regarding service lines, resulting in damaging service lines as work progressed. The ministers toured the road works in Chinika, Kafue and Lilayi areas as well as in Chawama, Kuku, Ibex and Bauleni. (See photo focus on Page 17)

Source : The Times of Zambia

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