The Green Party has said that the cost of constructing a brand new four lane highway from Lusaka to Ndola would have cost less than the figure that would be used to expand the current road to 4 lanes.
In a statement made available to the media yesterday, Party President Peter Sinkanmba said that the the shortest possible route to construct a brand new route is 296km which which would have cut the distance between Lusaka and Ndola by 20km, adding that the cost of constructing a brand new 296km four lane highway from Lusaka to Ndola would have been about $1.11 billion.
Mr Sinkamba further said that his party would have installed or constructed toll-gates on the new road and left the old roade as an optional route where travellers without resources would use paying no toll-gates to drive along.
Below is the full statement
THE LUSAKA-NDOLA DUAL CARRIAGE PROJECT LAUNCHED BY PRESIDENT LUNGU IS AN EXPENSIVE AGONIZING MODEL
Yesterday, President Edgar Lungu launched the construction of a dual carriage road from Lusaka to Ndola. Our considered view as the Green Party is that the model adopted by the PF Government is not only an expensive but also a seriously agonizing model which should not have contemplated in the first place.
The cost of constructing a new 2-lane undivided road is between $2 million to $3 million per 1.6km in rural areas and between $3 million to $5 million in urban areas. The distance from Lusaka to Ndola using routes T2 and T3, or in other words the Great North Road up to Kapiri and the Kapiri-Ndola road is about 316km. The cost of constructing a 2-lane undivided road between Lusaka and Ndola using the T2 and T3 road therefore costs about $1.185 billion since the urban factor is insignificant. This is the option that the PF Government has decided to run with and have since borrowed $1.2 billion for the project launched yesterday by President Edgar Lungu.
However, the cost of constructing a new 4-lane highway is between $4 million to $6 million per 1.6 km in rural and suburban areas, $8 million to $10 million in urban areas. The shortest possible route to construct a brand new route is 296km which thereby cuts the distance between Lusaka and Ndola by 20km.
In this regard, the cost of constructing a brand new 296km four lane highway from Lusaka to Ndola costs about $1.11 billion. This is not only cheaper but most convenient option which the Green Party would have run with, if in government. This means for less the amount the PF Government has set aside for the 2-lane road, the Green Party would have built a brand new four lane highway. Further, this would have been the road on which the Green Party would have installed or constructed toll-gates. The Greens would have left the existing T2-T3 route as an optional route where travellers without resources would use paying no toll-gates to drive along.
Drawing from the lessons of Kitwe-Chingola road upgrade from 2-lane to dual carriage, where it has taken over five years to construct a 45km road, and the on-going activities around Kabangwe-SOS road stretch, we shudder to see the agony and prolonged inconvenience road user will have to endure on the construction of the 2-lane 316km road using the PF model.
Perhaps, it is high time that the PF Government started to copy some of our models. It is not too late yet for Government to adopt our cheaper, sustainable and obviously the best option of the two models.
Green Party of Zambia