Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango has justified that the K6.6 billion to be spent on the Area 49-Area 18 to Parliament Roundabout road is a result of a scope of work that will be carried out.
Speaking at at Bingu National stadium open ground on Tuesday during the ground breaking ceremony for the upgrading to dual carriageway , Mhango said he heard about concerns some Malawians have raised regarding the amount of taxpayers’ money to be spent on the 4-kilometer dual carriage road.
But he said the upgrading of the road would ease the congestion of traffic the city is experiencing due to increase in volume of motor vehicles that are plying the road.
“We believe the upgrading of the roads will enable traffic users have a more moving space when coming or going to city centre from various locations of the city,” the Minister observed.
He said the road has been designed to incorporate modern safety features such as separation of motorized and non-motorized traffic.
“The upgrading of the road will improve safety of road users and reduce travel time motorist were enduring by using the road particularly during pick hours,” the Minister noted.
Mhango said government plans to expand the road network within the city and make sure issues of congestion by motorists are drastically reduced.
He said there were several roads within the city which needed to be upgraded to dual carriageways saying government is in the process of sourcing funds to implement such projects.
The Minister urged the contractor to work within the specified time frame of 12 months and operate within the budget.
Vice chair of the Road Fund Administration Mathews Chikankheni said the project opens a new chapter of road funding for his organization.
He said this was the first time his organization has managed to provide road fund bond for its implementation.
“The innovation of using bonds to fund such projects would enable us have frequent maintenance intervention of the road,” Chikankheni explained.
Minister of local government and Rural Development Kondwani Nankhumwa, and Minister of Lands Housing and Urban Development, Anna Kachikho, Mayor of Lilongwe City and Desmond Bikoko were among top officials that graced the occasion.