Luapula Province Permanent Secretary (PS) Chanda Kasolo has called on Copperfield Mining Services to speed up the works on the pedicle road because it was the nerve centre for commerce between Luapula, Northen, Congo and the Copperbelt regions.
Mr Kasolo made the call when he undertook a joint inspection tour of the road works with his Copperbelt counterpart, Stanford Msichili, yesterday.
He said the road was critical because currently everything that was going into neighbouring Congo DR has to pass through Kasumbalesa.
The PS said once the pedicle road was completed, there will be a lot of business between Congo and Zambia because the pedicle will be a shorter route to the Congo.
Mr Kasolo said Government was proud that it was a Zambian Contractor doing the pedicle road though there were a lot of calls directed at both PSs for the two regions for the cancellation of the contract because people perceived that the contractor was not performing.
And Resident Engineer, Madouh Youssef, informed the PS that despite the delay is due to rains and shortage of cement from suppliers in Ndola.
Mr Youssef said assured that the contractor will complete the project in November, this year, as planned in the initial contract as he will subcontract some portions of the road to beat the deadline.
He explained that the subcontracting procedure will conform to the government policy of 20 per cent subcontracting to local contractors.
The resident engineer also informed the PS that the contractor started with the portion on the bridge, which is seemingly midway, because the road project was designed in such a way that the interior portion of the road should be done first and end up with the near Zambian border stretches.
And Chembe District Commissioner, Simon Lwando, expressed concern that the spot grading which was done on some portions of the road have closed the water ways which have resulted ponds on the road.
And newly appointed Mufulira District Commissioner, Chanda Kabwe, said the pedicle road was important and urged the contractor to speed up the works and promised to be checking on the pace and quality of works from time to time.