UNNECESSARY roadblocks placed by a construction company (STRABAG International) has caused cumbersome traffic jam in Dar es Salaam and the government has ordered their removal to pave way for a smooth movement of vehicles.
Speaking at the end of road construction project inspection tour in Dar es Salaam on Friday, the Minister for Works, John Magufuli wanted all concerned authorities to act promptly to lessen congestion and speed up the construction work for timely completion.
“Some of these blocks placed at the middle of the completed stretches are quite unnecessary.
The contractor should open up to allow free movement of vehicles. Until Sunday (tomorrow) Tanesco must remove electric posts at Mansfield/Zanaki (City Square) as directed by Energy Minister,” Magufuli said following serious complaints launched by road users who said the notorious trouble spot was between Kimara and Ubungo characterized with dozens of roadblocks such that it takes nearly two hours to cross the stretch.
Dr Magufuli also demanded clarification for delayed handover of the Kivukoni main station for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) which the construction project is specifically designed for, whereby in the course of discussion it came to light that some of the power utility (Tanesco) infrastructure and other structures which were to be removed still remained in place and therefore undermined the work progress.
Commenting on the fate of the structure that caters for the headquarters of Tanesco in Ubungo area, Magufuli said by all means the building must be pulled down to pave way for road expansion.
“Whether I will be in office or not, the structure must go and the decision has nothing to do with violation of laws but expansion cannot be implemented with the structure in place,” he clarified.
According to Magufuli, there are several other challenges complicating implementation of the project.
These include cars plying the lanes set aside for pedestrians and cyclists, small businesses going on at the construction sites, motorbike riders parking at the sites (especially Kibo bus stop) and lack of information about water and communication network among others.
Dar es Salaam Regional Commissioner Said Meck Sadick has urged city residents to show respect to the ongoing construction work and asked petty traders to avoid obstruction alongside Ubungo area and run their business elsewhere.
“They must find a place to run their business otherwise it becomes difficult for the constructors to do their job smoothly,” the RC insisted Commenting on the security and protection of the infrastructure after completion of the project, the RC advised the city fathers to introduce a serious neighborhood watch system to keep an open eye on those who destroy the infrastructure.
Clarifying on the issue of community awareness on the significance of the project and the need for the public to stop running business around the site, Kinondoni Municipal Engineer, Musa Nati said efforts were underway to educate the people on the subject.
Some of these problems, explained the RC, could be avoided if residents were informed well in advance about the magnitude of the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transport (DART) project to avoid unnecessary frictions.
As for expansion of Kimara – Chalinze road covering 100km, Magufuli said at least 19 construction companies have shown interest in the construction of the six-lane Highway and the construction work is scheduled to begin in July this year.
The three-year project is scheduled for completion in March next year at the cost of 240bn/- with more than 16 contractors. So far the construction is completed by 55 per cent.
The project covers 20.9 km to cover stretches along Morogoro road, (Kimara – Kivukoni) with a distance of 15.8km, then from Fire area to Kariakoo (1.7km) and Kawawa road between Magomeni and Morocco (3.4km).
As for construction work of the main company’s Jangwani workshop which is estimated at 12.8bn/-, construction work is 70 per cent done, with the capacity to accommodate 130 passenger buses and the project would be handed-over in June this year.
The contractor is Chinese Civil Engineers.