Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Arusha-Namanga highway contractor put on notice

Works minister Dr John Magufuli has cautioned the constructor undertaking construction of the Arusha-Namanga road to ensure that its construction is accomplished within the contract period, which is July 14, 2011. Wrapping up his impromptu inspection tour of the 104km-road here on Monday, the minister said the government wasn’t ready for any delays in road projects across the country. Magufuli was not happy with the pace at which the contractor was taking to accomplish the East African regional road, saying: “You need to accomplish constructing this road within seven months from now.” The 81bn/- road is being constructed by China Geo-Engineering Corporation, which is set to complete the construction work on July 14, next year. The minister also asked the consultant engineer to be serious with the work, warning that failure to abide by the agreement would lead to denying the company any construction projects in the future. He said consultant engineers should represent their clients rather than colluding with the contractors, a move which delayed a number of projects in the country. “And if we get to realise that some consultants are colluding with the contractors, the government will not hesitate to penalize them,” he said, adding: “Road projects are very expensive. As of now one kilometre of the Arusha-Namanga road costs about 772m/-, so there is no room for lame excuses.”

Newly appointed Minister for Works Honourable John Pombe Maghufuli

The minister called on Arusha regional Tanroads’ manager Deusdedit Kakoko to closely administer the work and see to it that it was completed on time. Earlier, China Geo-Engineering Corporation general manager Tian Jin assured the minister that the road would be completed as scheduled and with superb workmanship. “So far, we have accomplished about 60 per cent of the construction work, but we’re very confident that the work would be completed on time,” he said.
For his part, Kakoko pledged that, in collaboration with the regional authorities, his office would continue supervising the construction work so that the road was completed in time and meet the required standards. Kakoko asked managers working with the contractor to collaborate with his office so that things went on smoothly to accomplish the multibillion-shilling project on time. Arusha regional commissioner Isidore Shirima called for collective efforts to ensure that the road was completed on time as projected. The 105-kilometre Arusha-Namanga road is funded from a loan granted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and a Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) grant. At least 240 Tanzanians have been employed alongside 40 technical staff from China. To speed up the project, three construction teams have been formed. The Arusha-Namanga road is being rehabilitated within the framework of the East African Road Project (EARP) under the East African Community (EAC).


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