Escom irks Mzuzu City Council
The Mzuzu City Council (MCC) roads construction and rehabilitation project underway in the city’s townships has faced hitches due to the delay by Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) to shift its infrastructure along the affected roads.
MCC Director of Planning, Fraser Bondwe, said over the weekend the utility body has not been forthcoming on the matter despite being given a K6 million compensation three months ago.
He said apart from compromising on the roads’ designs, there is likelihood that the works will be affected by the oncoming rainy season and the contractor might miss completion deadline of February 2018.
Bondwe said, at the current rate, MCC anticipates that at due date, there will be unfinished works of about a kilometre.
“Work progress on about 2.8 kilometres has been affected especially on the Bishop–Target Road, the experience on the Airport- Chiputula-Katawa Road made us realise the negative effects of compromising on initial designs on roads just because some infrastructure has not been shifted,” Bondwe said.
Few months ago, MCC and Plem Construction Company came under fire from various stakeholders for the substandard work on the Chiputula-Katawa stretch after the road developed cracks due to poor drainage system.
“A section on that road had to be redone because it was affected by design changes due to the fact that some infrastructure which had to be demolished or shifted were not,” he added.
Bondwe, however, said the contactor has assured MCC that he can still do the works when rains have started.
Escom’s Public Relations Manager, Kitty Chingota, admitted there has been delay but said their personnel in the Northern Region has started moving the poles from the projects’ sites.
She said: “The slow progress is because we are only doing it during load shedding for fear of interrupting power supply to our customers, but very soon we will be done with all the movements.”
For the 2017/2018 financial year, the government through the Roads Fund Administration allocated K7 billion for rehabilitation of about 4.3 kilometres of city roads and K1.2 billion for streetlighting.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues