M1 road project on course despite delays – Minister

By Twimepoki Mangani

Lilongwe, January 25 Mana: Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jacob Hara says said M1 Road rehabilitation and railway projects are well under way and visible works will continue after the rainy season.

The minister made the remarks Wednesday at the Central Office of Information (COI) in Lilongwe during a press briefing under the banner Government Faces the Press to update the nation on the progress of the projects.

The minister explained causes of the delays when contractors had already been given a go ahead for the projects.

“The contractors work hand in hand with our supervision team. First, they check the designs and reveal the need for any changes to the road.

He said when checks were done on the M1 road, it showed that some sections needed an extra layer and also to widen it. This meant that the contractors had to go back to the designs.

“For the M1 road, in the mountainous areas, we also decided to create climbing lanes for easy car over taking, so to fix all that it took time. There are some contractors who delayed to start work because their equipment arrived late but have to work hastily to fulfill all climate change requirements and reduce impacts on the environment,” he said.  

He said rains have also stalled most projects but was optimistic that all stipulated projects will be completed within President Lazarus Chakwera’s term as all necessary resources are available.  

The ministry is also implementing different railway rehabilitation projects such as design, upgrading and rehabilitation of the railway section between Marka and Bangula which is expected to end in November, 2023 and Nkaya-Mchinji railway rehabilitation which is expected to end in December, 2024.

Some among the various projects the ministry is under taking include upgrading of the 75 kilometre Njakwa-Livingstonia Road in Rumphi with its physical progress at 68 percent, upgrading of Ntcheu-Tsangano road (phase 1) which is 21 kilometres whose progress is at 71 percent.

The ministry is also upgrading the 82 kilometre Thyolo-Thekerani-Makhanga road and the physical progress is on 91 percent.

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