The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) on Thursday announced changes in the scope of work a development the Authority is intended to save tax payers from losing USD50Millions Prisca Wanyenya reports.
Revealing the changes of scope of work for the China Communication Construction Company Limited which is undertaking works on the state of the art Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway, during the media tour at Busega in Kampala, John Byabagambi the Minister of State for Works noted that the contractor has been given to construct part of the Mpigi-Kampala highway that is to intersect the Kampala-Entebbe Express highway.
Byabagambi explained that, “We realized that after the completion of the Kampala-Express Highway, it will require breaking the bridge intersect at Busega in 2years time especially when constructing Mpigi-Kampala Highway. So in order to save tax payers from losing USD 30-50ghway, the contractor scope of work has been increased and CCCC will be entailed to construct an additional 9km on Mpigi-Kampala Highway.
It is believed that Mpigi-Kamapala Highway carries a length of 37km but CCCC will construct 9km which is expected to cost USD150Millions and the other part of the project will be carried on as planned in 2years time.
David Luyimbazi, the Director Planning UNRA noted that the new project however won’t affect the ongoing works for the contractor and noted that the contract price has therefore changed because they have to cater for changes in the scope of work.
He said that, “The new works on Mpigi-Kampala highway are estimated to cost USD150Millions and the Ministry of Works and Transport are yet to meet with the Minister of Finance to discuss funding of the new project and he affirmed that Finance had agreed to cater for these changes.
However, Luyimbazi noted that the time frame for completition of the Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway won’t be affected as these two projects will be carried out coherently but changes are to be witnessed in the contract price and scope of works.
“The additional works are very complex and require a lot of land to establish the pillars for the bridge. That is why we have chosen to use the same contractor because they have the expertise let alone avoid disruptions with another contractor not forgetting reduce time and costs of identifying another contractor by going through another procurement process” explained Luyimbazi.
Responding to queries on compensation for the Kampala-Entebbe Highway, Byabagambi noted that challenges are still holding back the progress of works despite the fact that government had fully released all the funding for the compensation.
“We are still having challenges with compensation especially with some land lords who are absent, while some are disputing the price the Government Chief Valuer attached to their land. But with the advice from the Solicitor General, we shall keep this money with courts until all these contentions are settled.
He however warned the people affected by the project against selfishly frustrating public project because they want to fulfill their individual ambitions.
“Those individuals that are still frustrating the project should know that government won’t sit back watch them interfere with development. They should know that the Ministry is mandated in the constitution to compulsorily take on this land, but we wouldn’t want to reach to such an extreme.”