The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Garu in the Upper East Region, Hon Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, has dragged the Minister for Road and Highways to parliament over poor condition of major roads in the constituency.
According to the MP, who described the roads as “very bad”said the road in question, Garu to Bawku is an important road and government must take steps to put them in good condition to ease transportation in the constituency.
In effort to alleviate the plight of the commuters, Hon Alalzuuga posed two questions to the Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon Kwesi Amoako-Atta on the floor of parliament last Friday,February 2, 2018.
“Mr Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the road from Garu to Bawku will be constructed.? Mr Alalzuuga asked the Minister.
Additionally he asked, “Mr Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways when the Garu township roads will be constructed.”?
In response to the questions, Hon. Amoako-Atta said “Mr. Speaker, the Bawku – Missiga – Garu road is 30km long. The Bawku – Missiga section is 5.0km and paved whilst the Missiga – Garu section is 25.0km and has both bituminous and gravel surfaces.”
He said, the road in question traverses from Bawku in the Bawku Municipality to Garu in the Garu-Tempane District of the Upper East region was awarded to three contracts on the Missiga-Garu section of the Bawku – Garu trunk road.
According to the sector Minister, “Partial Reconstruction of Missiga – Garu road (km 0.0-5.0) and upgrading of Missiga – Kulungugu road (km 0.0- 10.0), explaining that works commenced on 16th January, 2013 and contractual completion was expected on 15th April, 2016,but the completion date has since elapsed.
Mr Amoako-Atta further told parliament, progress of works is projected at 46% physical completion, but the Contractor has requested for an extension of the completion time due to government delay in paying for work done.
The Minister stated that when the project is completed, the road would have a bituminous surface.
He said the graveling of the 5km and 10km road from Missiga – Garu which is commenced on 19th September, 2016 for contractual completion on 18th September, 2017 has also been has also since elapsed despite progress of work estimated at 5.0% physical completion.
Generally,Mr Amoako-Atta said, the Contractor was issued a warning letter to expedite action to complete the works, but he has still not mobilized to site to commence work.
The remaining 10.0km section (km15.0-km25.0), he said has been scheduled for 2018 routine maintenance which includes grading to keep the gravel surface motorable.
He however assured the MP that, the Ministry as part of its future programs is working in collaboration with theGhana Highway Authority (GHA) and that the GHA is initiating steps to terminate the two contracts for re-award.
The Minister added that, engineering design studies would also be undertaken in the second quarter of 2018 from (km5.0-25.0) for bituminous surfacing, thus is tarring of the roads.
On the Garu township roads, the Minister said, there was no major programme to rehabilitate the Garu township roads, but assured of routine maintenance activities such as pothole patching on the paved sections, while grading of the gravel sections also been awarded for execution in 2018.
He noted that the future programme of engineering works on the Garu township roads would be conducted in the third quarter of 2018 for consideration in the 2019 budget.
But Hon Alazuuga told THE REPUBLIC exclusively that, the Garu to Bawku and the Garu twonship roads in question are important economic roads to the predominantly crop farmers in the constituency.
He said the bad nature of the road had led to many post harvest loses and posed severe economic problems to the people of Garu and other districts.
He explained that, the road and its adjourning routs which link most parts of the Northern Region either through Gambaga or Bunkrugu help traders to and from the Southern belt of the country as well as those traveling from neigbouring Sub-Sahara countries.
With these challenges, Mr Alazuuga said, there was urgent need for the government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways to prioritised most of the roads in the constituency and speed up with construction to save farmers and traders from losing more of their produces.
He said the challenges has greatly affected the rural farmers as a result, they could barely meet their immediate requirements, healthcare as well as educate their children.
Sources:www.therepublicnewsonline/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba