Government is happy that the construction of the KR 249 million (K249 billion) Bottom road project in Southern Province is progressing well with 58 percent of the works done so far.
Works and Supply Deputy Minister Malama Mwimba said Government will spare no effort to ensure the construction of the road and bridges on the project is completed within the stipulate timeframe.
Mr Mwimba urged the contractor, China Henan Cooperation Limited to expedite the project so that the people of Southern Province can have the road they have been yearning for, for a long time.
The Deputy Minister who inspected the road project over the weekend to see the progress that has being made said the construction of the Bottom road project has been a mockery to the people of Southern Province.
He regretted that previous administrations failed to act on the road which remained a song for the people for many years.
Mr Mwimba said the Patriotic Front Government is however determined to rehabilitate the road to bitumous level to ease people’s movements.
He underscored the need for the contractor to expedite the works to ensure that the project is done within the stipulated timeframe without compromising on the quality of works.
Mr Mwimba said in as much as Government wanted the project to be done expeditiously, it was also imperative that the contractor does a good job to avoid reworks which cost Government huge sums of money.
He said Zambia was a developing country that cannot afford to have substandard infrastructure.
He said the Patriotic Front Government has many projects that it wants to embark on hence the need for contractors to do quality works that will stand the test of time.
Mr Mwimba warned that Government will not accept shoddy works because it was determined to execute quality infrastructure that will benefit the people.
The contractor is however two months behind schedule in the construction of the 131.5 kilometre road that starts at Njami at the junction of the Siavonga road to Chaanga and finally to Munyumbwe.
And Bicon Zambia Limited, the consultant overseeing the construction of the project assured Government that the contractor would complete the works on time.
Bicon Zambia Limited Deputy Resident Engineer Justin Tindisa said measures have been enforced to ensure the contractor catches up on time.
Mr Tindisa said the contractor is currently mobilising more equipment and staff to expedite the works.
He said the biggest challenge the contractor is facing is lack of water at the site which he said has to be hauled from several kilometres away.
Meanwhile, Road Development Agency (RDA) Senior Manager for Construction and Rehabilitation Remmy Chanda remained optimistic that the contractor would deliver the project to Government on time.
The rehabilitation of 131.5 kilometre of the Bottom road was originally designed for gravel wearing course finish by the MMD Government but the PF Government revised the works to provide for a double seal surfacing and the construction of bridges.