Government has attributed the delay in the rehabilitation of Tororo-Mbale, Mbale -Soroti highway to floods.
By Henry Sekanjako
Government has attributed the delay in the rehabilitation works of Tororo-Mbale, Mbale -Soroti highway to floods in the region, increase in the scope of work and design review of the project.
The project which started in November 21, 2010, and should have been completed in May 21, 2012 will only be ready by April 2014.
Appearing before the parliament's committee on Physical infrastructure Tuesday, the works and transport minister Abraham Byandala said the contractors received the required design documents for the highway late which led to the delay in the commencement of the project.
"The problem we had was cash flow which we shared with the contractors and Uganda National roads authority but we are getting on top of this problem," Byandala assured.
However Byandala who was flanked by his junior minister John Byabagambi, UNRA officials, project consultant and contractors Dott services Ltd, said government would suffer more unspecified costs since the scope of work for the project has increased.
"We are beyond the fixed time and we shall inevitably incur the variations in prices and scope of work," he noted.
Uganda National Noads Authority (UNRA) regional manager Eng. Godfrey Kaaya told the committee that they had done only 18% work on Tororo -Mbale road by only 10% on Mbale -Soroti road.
"Our contractor Dot services are 100 percent mobilized in terms of equipment and personnel. Most of the works like benching and widening, surface dressing on Tororo-Mbale road have been worked on and all the necessary equipment have been availed by the contractor," said Kaaya.
Kaaya, who cleared Dott services of any wrong doing in delaying the project, said the construction works had been mainly affected by the bad weather more especially floods which has threatened the road construction works.
He said they had so far paid sh27billion for the works done and material on site for the over sh70billion road project. He said; "the Tororo Mbale road was contracted at sh30.2billion and Mbale Soroti at sh46billion".
The project consultant Paul Karekezi however, proposed that government sub contracts some of the works for early completion.
According to the executive director Dott services, Venugopal Rao, their scope of work in the contract was to improve on the existing shoulders of the road, partial reconstruction of severely damaged carriage way, reshaping of side and meter drains among others.
However some of the committee members blamed UNRA for the delay which they said failed to extend the design documents to the contractor to carry out the road works.
"This should be handled urgently, every minute the contractor spends on site, it is government to pay," said Patrick Amuriat.
Delayed Tororo-Mbale-Soroti road to cost more money