The Ministry of Transport and Public Works has announced plans to work on the M5 Road again following heavy rains that cut it off at Lingadzi Bridge.
Motorists have, from time to time, been stranded on the road, forcing the Roads Authority to close it for repairs.
Speaking in an interview when he inspected progress of the Karonga–Songwe M1 Road Project, Transport and Public Works Minister, Jappie Mhango, acknowledged that the ministry was having a tough time with M1 and M5 roads.
“We have a few roads that are giving us problems here and there. We have the M5 Road, which has been a problem for us for some time. That said, efforts are being made to ensure that we re-do that road as well,” Mhango said.
He added that the M1 Road stretch between Kacheche and Chiweta in Rumphi District is also a cause for concern.
On the progress of the World Bank-funded Karonga –Songwe Road, Mhango said, despite some delays, the project has started well as recommended by financiers.
“I think they have started well and I hope that, with more equipment coming and resources available, the contractor should be able to push and deliver on project expectations within the agreed timeframe,” Mhango said.
In his remarks, Zhejiang Communication and Construction Company Project Manager, Joe Xu, said the company has finished the trial section and has been approved by the consultant engineer
Xu said, despite being inconvenienced by heavy rains, he is confident that the project would be completed by the end of 15 months.
“Though we have some problems like the [issue of] compensation and the rainy season, we are in control and we are likely to beat the time-frame,” Xu said.
The Karonga-Songwe Road is being rehabilitated by Zhejiang Communication and Construction Group to the tune of $20.3 million from World Bank.
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