Minister of Infrastructure, Housing Urban and Development Charles Milupi has announced that the New Dawn Government is working hard to ensure that the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway construction project commences by the end of the rainy season with a revised cost that is much less than the initial US$1.26 billion that was projected by the previous Patriotic Front (PF) Government.
In a post on his Facebook page, Mr. Milupi said that the government is not happy with the current state of that road and is working very hard to ensure that a number of roads around the country are worked on, but of uppermost importance, the United Party for National Development (UPND) government want to see that the Lusaka-Ndola dual-carriageway is done.
Mr. Milupi said the previous government wanted to do that road at a huge cost of US$1.26 billion, but ew Dawn government will do that road at a much lower cost, adding that progressively, a number of contractors are already approaching this government and expressed interest to work on that road at a cost lower than that.
Mr. Milupi further said that, currently, the government is hoping to deal with some preliminary procedures before works can commence on the Ndola-Lusaka dual carriageway project and promised that by the end of the rainy season people will begin to see bulldozers on the Lusaka-Ndola Road.
In June last year, the Road Development Agency (RDA) halted the construction of the road and attributed the stagnation on the $ 1.2 billion Lusaka/Ndola dual carriageway to financial constraints following a directive by the Ministry of Finance to postpone the construction on the project.
RDA Public Relations Manager Masuzyo Ndholvu said works on the Lusaka/Ndola will only commence once the debt situation improves in the country or when other funds are sourced for the project.
He told ZANIS in an interview that the 321-kilometer Lusaka-Ndola road project would include by-pass roads in Kabwe, Kapiri Mposhi, and the 45-kilometer Luanshya-Fisenge- Masangano Road.
He further noted that the contract to upgrade the Lusaka-Ndola dual carriageway was signed on May 31, 2017, and had been commissioned by then-President Edgar Lungu.
“To date, the contractor has carried out several preliminary activities such as setting up the construction camps site that is the preparation of designs, identified projects affected persons (PAPS) and Property and services that may require to be relocated to pave way for the construction works on the Lusaka –Ndola dual carnage way on the great north road (GNR),” Mr. Ndhlovu stated.
He said the road has direct economic benefits for the country such as direct revenue collection and support to local and regional economic activities.
He said the Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriageway Project is expected to produce huge economic and social benefits to the people.
“The Agency is currently working on the other sections of the roads using the regional offices in Central and Copperbelt Province in order to maintain the road while waiting for the works to start on the project,’’ Mr. Ndholvu stated.