Itezhi Tezhi power project works cheer govt

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Government says works carried out at the U$250 million Itezhi Tezhi hydroelectric power project are impressive.

Central province permanent secretary Edwidge Mutale says government was happy with the works done so far both in terms of quality and safety.

Mrs Mutale was speaking yesterday shortly after inspecting the Itezhi Tezhi 120MW power plant which is under construction and also expressed happiness at both the fast space and quality of workmanship.

The Permanent Secretary who was leading a delegation of Board members of the Central Province Planning Authority (CPPA) said she was happy with the progress recorded so far.

“From Provincial Administration point of view we are very happy with the progress because every time we come here, we can see that the project is moving and this is good because if a project delays unnecessarily, it is costly”, Ms Mutale said.

The PS  who is also chairperson for the CPPA said she was excited  that the project took into consideration social responsibility and  invested US$5 million to improve water supply for about 10,000 inhabitants of the Itezhi Tezhi town.

She said she was also happy with the combination of the technical staff in the project.

“The combination of technical staff at high level is good. We could see that Zambian engineers have been incorporated in the project and are being given responsibilities not just for window dressing and this is good because it will enhance their skills”, Ms Mutale said

The PS observed that it would have been good if engineering students from the University of Zambia (UNZA) , Copperbelt University (CBU) and the Northern Technical College (NORTEC)  could be attached to such projects so that they gain practical knowledge.

“We needed  students  from  higher learning institutions  attached here so that they can see how these engineering projects are done because if they are brought here only after the project is completed , it is not the same”, she said.

Ms Mutale expressed concern on the proposed plan to build a public road at the power plant.

She said that there should be no public road passing between the mountain and the power station because of security reasons.

She has since directed ZESCO and TATA to revisit their plan on a public road and find an alternative route to divert the road away from the facility.

“This power plant is a security facility and there should be no public road too near the plant, you should therefore revisit this plan and find an alternative route for a public road”,  she said.

Meanwhile, Itezhi Tezhi Power project Technical Director Martin Sinjala said that the major works on the power were at 58 percent completion.

Mr. Sinjala assured the permanent secretary that the project was on schedule and that the power plant will  start generating electricity by mid next year.

He pointed out that the project was way ahead in terms of international and local procurements for the project.

Meanwhile,  Ms Mutale also directed civil servants to ensure that all government buildings in the district have title deeds as required by Law.

She said that government should lead by example to ensure that it follows and satisfies all planning requirements before buildings are erected.

The Permanent secretary also toured other ongoing projects such as the construction of the district commissioner’s office, modern market and bus station, fish market centre and the Itezhi Tezhi boarding secondary school.