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Minister Chimwendo Banda hails BT bypass roads progress

By Yamikani Yapuwa

CHIMWENDO BANDA: There is good progress on the ground and I am happy.

Blantyre, July 20: Minister of Local Government, Civic Education and Unity Richard Chimwendo Banda said he is satisfied with the progress that has been made on the construction of Chichiri- Chinyonga and Makhetha-Ndirande bypass roads in the city of Blantyre.

Chimwendo Banda said this on Wednesday in Blantyre when he conducted a surprise tour to the two roads that are under construction as well as Open Theatre rehabilitation works at the Blantyre Cultural Centre.

“For the road infrastructure, they are doing a lot. There is good progress on the ground and I am happy. We were here three months ago as we continue monitoring what is happening in the cities to make sure that the roads that were supposed to be done are actually making progress,” said Chimwendo.

He said his visits are aimed to continuously check the quality of the road infrastructure as well as timely delivery of the projects.

“Others sign a contract for six months and take two years without completing the project. The Makhetha-Ndirande road was given six months and they asked for another six more months but all in all we are so happy with the progress as well as the quality of the road.

“We do not want to see the repeat of what happened previously where roads could only last for about nine months or a year. We want to see quality standard roads that will stand the taste of time.

“The Chichiri-Chinyonga road is almost done. It is a short one but it will decongest traffic from the highway and Limbe to Blantyre via Chinyonga. Government now has targets to construct the Chilobwe ring road. Right now we are looking for resources and very soon we will ensure that Chilobwe has fully done ring road.

On the other hand, Chimwendo expressed worry over the slow pace at which the contractor rehabilitating the Open Theatre at the Blantyre Cultural Centre is taking.

“We are not happy. There are delays on the project. The rehabilitation was supposed to take six months from August last year then we are almost hitting August another year but then they have not even done 25 percent of the project,” Chimwendo said.

He therefore warned the contractor to improve or else risk being reported to National Construction Industry Council as well as have contract terminated.

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