The Tuna-Kalba road project
Hon Andrew Dari Chiwity, Member of Parliament ( MP ) for Sawla/Tuna/Kalba in the Northern Region, has expressed disappointment that Roads and Highways Minister, Mr Kwesi Amoako Atta, had failed to keep a promise to complete the construction work on the Sawla -Tuna-Kalba Road by end of April, 2018.
According to the MP, whilst answering a question posed by him on the floor of parliament in 2017, the Roads and Highways Minister, promised to complete the road project by close of April, this year, but as at May 22, 2018, work on site stand still.
Mr Chiwity told THE REPUBLIC, in a chat that, the Tuna-Kalba road project contract was awarded in 2016 under the National Democratic Congress(NDC) to be completed in April, 2018, but work das been stalled since the change of government in January, 2017.
The contractor, the MP said, has since left site soon after the New Patriotic Party, NPP government took over power, stating that, “the poor condition of the road is deteriorating, as rain water wash away most part of the work done already.”
The delay in completing the road, he noted, is affecting the economic activities in the constituency, stressing that, traders and farmers who uses the road daily to cart their goods and food stuff to market centres.
The MP stated that, beside the question on the floor, he had also taken interest to follow up on the Minister in his office and he reaffirmed his determination to complete the road project, but could not fathom why up till date not a single culvert is brought on site.
Already, Mr Chiwity said, the 19 per cent of work done on the road since 2016, has been swept away by rains, thereby making the road more impassable for motorists.
Effort made by our parliamentary correspondence to get to the Minister both at his office and via phone to explain the causes of the delay, works on the road proved futile.
For the purpose of objectivity, we reproduced an excerpts from the Parliament Hansard dated 27th October, 2017, that captured the question and the answers by Mr Chiwity(MP) and the Minister, Mr Amoako Atta.
“Q. 115. Mr Andrew Dari Chiwitey asked the Minister for Roads and Highways when the construction of the Tuna – Kalba road will be completed. 27 October, 2017 MrAmoako-Attah: Mr Speaker, Background: The Tuna -Kalba road is a 30km long feeder road in the Bole District of the Northern Region. It is a gravel surfaced road in poor condition. Current programme Contracts for upgrading to bituminous surfacing of the road were awarded in two phases.”
“The contract for phase I which is the section between Km (0.0 –– 20.0) was awarded on 12th July 2016. Works commenced on 4th October 2016 for contractual completion by 4th April 2018. Works have been completed up to the sub- base level. Physical completion to date is estimated at 30 per cent.”
“The contract for the Phase II which is the section between Km (20.0 –– 30.0) was awarded on 21st July 2016. Works commenced on 3rd October 2016 for contractual completion by 3rd April 2018. Works completed to date include clearing, formation, excavation of earth ditches and construction of 4no. culverts. Physical completion to date is estimated at 19 per cent.”
“Mr Chiwitey: Mr Speaker, with your kind permission, I would like to make a correction on the Hon Minister’s Answer before I ask my supplementary question.”
“Mr Speaker, he indicated under the background that Tuna-Kalba road is a 30- kilometre long feeder road in the Bole District. Mr Speaker, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba became a district since 2004, so, I am surprised that the Ministry still captures it under Bole District.
“Mr Speaker, if that would be corrected. Oral Answers to Questions 27 October, 2017 1470 [MR CHIWITEY My question to the Hon Minister is whether he is aware that the contractor has packed his equipment out of the site.?
Mr Speaker: Hon Member, you may repeat the question. Mr Chiwitey: Mr Speaker, my question is whether the Hon Minister is aware that the contractor has packed his equipment and left the site?
“Mr Speaker: Hon Minister, has the contactor gone absent without leave (AWOL)? Mr Amoako-Attah: Mr Speaker, yes, the project is Sawla-Tuna-Kalba. The contractor had a lot of problems and difficulties since the award of the contract in July, 2016.
He commenced work, and that is why I indicated the works he undertook. So far, I believe the Hon Member is aware, since it is within his constituency, that the contractor undertook clearing, formation and excavation of earth ditches and so on.
That is why I have indicated that physical completion of the work to date is about 30 per cent. So, we would take all necessary steps to make sure that the project comes on stream.
Mr Chiwitey: Mr Speaker, I actually wanted to know whether the Hon Minister is aware that the contractor has moved out of site. Mr Speaker, but my next question is the gutters in Sawla Township have been left uncovered, and it causes a lot of accidents in town. We have even lost a teacher through a motor accident. Would the Hon Minister consider calling the contractor back to site to cover those gutters to save the people of Kalba from the difficulties that they are going through?
Mr Speaker: Hon Minister? Mr Amoako-Attah: Mr Speaker, naturally and obviously, we all regret such fatal accidents and I would want to assure the Hon Member that as I have already indicated, steps would be taken to make sure that the project would be re-visited and carried out for the benefit of our people.”
That was what happened in parliament regarding the Tuna-Kalba road which has now become a death trap and the residents are unhappy with the MP and to the large extend to the government.
The Minister promised, but till date noting is happening, neither the Contractor who commenced work on the road nor a new Contractor has been ask to move on site.
Nonetheless, Hon Chiwity told the paper that, he had a duty to represent the concern voice of his constituent in the august House and therefore vowed to continue to press upon the sector mInister to give priority to the Tuna-Kalba road as other roads around the country.
Source:the republic news online.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba