Government has released over K45 billion for rehabilitation works on the Great East Road in Eastern Province.
And Government has warned Controlling Officers who award contracts to contractors that perform shoddy works that they risked being prosecuted.
Eastern Province Minister Charles Shawa disclosed to ZANIS in an interview in Chipata today, that K30.2 billion has been released for the Chipata-Mwami road while K15.5 billion will go towards the Nyimba-Sinda stretch on the Great East Road.
Mr. Shawa said major rehabilitation works on the two roads have since commenced and that the projects were expected to be completed by June this year.
He also disclosed that Government has awarded a contract to Sable Construction Company to carry out works on the two roads.
Mr. Shawa further revealed that works on the Chipata-Lundazi road would commence in September this year and would be completed next year.
He said Government was prompted to release the funds in order to ease the transportation of agricultural produce and other products to other parts of the country.
The Provincial Minister noted that there is need for permanent rehabilitation on major roads in the province to enhance development.
“We need to ensure that these roads have permanent surfaces so that we do not spend monies on rehabilitating them annually, mere patching has been costly,” he said.
Mr. Shawa added that rehabilitation works on the Chipata-Mfuwe road would begin in December this year and be completed next year.
And Mr. Shawa has warned Controlling Officers who award contracts to companies that perform shoddy works that they will face the consequences.
He described the trend as dishonest and a deterrent to the country’s development.
Mr. Shawa stated that Government will not take kindly to erring Controlling Officers frustrating its developmental efforts.
He further warned contractors abrogating their contractual obligations that they will have their operating licences revoked and be liable for prosecution.
Meanwhile, the provincial minister has expressed happiness at the rate at which the Chipata/Muchinji Railway line is progressing.
He expressed confidence that the project would be completed by April this year, according to schedule.
Mr. Shawa said the K10 billion that was released by Government recently would facilitate the quick completion of the project.