ZESCO has embarked on a construction of a 330 Kilovolts transmission line aimed at increasing the electricity generation capacity for Eastern province.
The project which is earmarked to commerce by March next year and will be executed within 18 months will cost between US$ 40 and 60 million.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting in Chipata today, Project Site Manager James Mahere disclosed that the project is targeted at upgrading the current supply of 60 KV to 330 KV.
Mr Mahere explained that the transmission line will start from Pensulo through Lusiwasi to Msoro in Chipata district.
He said the same line will be extended to the newly created Vubwi district which is not connected to power.
He noted that the project will be beneficial to the province as it will improve power supply with the capacity that is likely to last for about 50 years.
Meanwhile, ZESCO Social Scientist Stella Wayope said it is not ZESCO’s intention to displace or infringe on the livelihood of anyone during the construction period.
Ms Wayope however, assured the residents that will be affected or displaced during the process of compensation.
She said it is ZESCO’s policy to ensure that people affected by its projects be left better than they were before.
She explained that ZESCO normally engages independent people to value the impact on property adding that the affected persons will be paid an inconvenience fee on top of the total real value of the damaged property or fruit tree.
Ms Wayope has since warned that the corporation will not compensate bare land and any structures that will be built after the assessments have been done and residents informed.
And Chipata District Commissioner Kalunga Zulu has commended government for the project.
Mr Zulu said the project is an indication of government’s support aimed at improving the living standards of people in Eastern province.
He further urged ZESCO to ensure that it engages stakeholders and encompass the views of the people before the project is implemented.
The DC has also advised farmers not to plough in areas were works are being done, adding that residents should desists from vandalizing the pylons as they are risking their lives.