Hon. Albert Akuka Alalzuuga, Member of Parliament (MP) for Garu constituency in the Upper East Region, has dragged the Minister for Roads and Highways to parliament to explain when construction works on the Third phase of the Eastern corridor road would be commence.
According to him, roads transport is regarded as an important factor involved in agricultural development all over the world and the only means by which food produced at farms site are moved to different homes as well as markets.
The third phase of the Eastern Corridor Road which starts from the Tema Roundabout in the Greater Accra Region, to Volta Region and stretching to Nakpanduri in the Northern and through Garu to Kulungungu both in the Upper East Region served as an important trade rout.
The Eastern corridor road, traverses Greater Accra, Eastern, Volta, Northern and Upper East regions. The first and second phase of the road have started for years now but yet to be completed.
Works on the second phase which starts from Asikuma junction to Have and through Hohoe to the Northern Volta is still under construction.
The Garu constituency which is also a district is one of the major producer of food crops including rice, yam, maize, millet, sorghum, beans, vegetables and livestock are transported to the down south through the Eastern corridor rout.
The delayed in construction of the road has therefore compelled the Garu lawmaker to summoned the Road and Highways Minister, Hon Kwesi Amoako-Atta to parliament to explain steps being taking to commence work on the road.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways the steps the Ministry is taking to construct the third phase of the Eastern Corridor Road stretching from Nakpanduri through Garu to Kulungungu.?, the MP asked.
Answering the question, the Minister for Roads and Highways said, the Eastern Corridor road which is the National Route number two road, starts from Tema Motorway roundabout, about 5km north of the Tema port, and ends at Kulungugu on the north-eastern border with Burkina Faso.
Currently, he said, the Ministry is undertaking routine maintenance, including gravel patching and grading to keep the road surface motorable.
According to the Minister, the whole route covers a distance of about 695km and is connected to major towns including Tema, Atimpoku, Hohoe, Nkwanta, Bimbilla, Yendi, Gushiegu, Nakpanduri, Garu, Bawku and Kulungugu.
Giving the background, Mr Amoako-Atta said, “the route is conceived as a north-south trade corridor, providing a shorter access to Tema port and improving integration between Upper East, Northern, Volta, Eastern and Greater Accra Regions of Ghana and also between Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.”
The Eastern Corridor road project, he said has been packaged into Seven (7) Lots which includes, “Lot 1: Tema Roundabout-Kpong-Atimpoku-Asikuma junction, Lot 2: Asikuma Junction-Hohoe-Jasikan-Poase Cement (147.2km), Lot 3: Poase Cement-Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta (78.2km), Lot 4: Nkwanta-Oti Damanko (70.0km); 5 and Lot 5: Oti Damanko-Bimbilla-Yendi (86.0km),”
The continue lots he said also includes, “Lot 6: Yendi-Gushiegu-Nakpanduri (123.2km) and Lot 7: Nakpanduri-Bawku-Kulungugu (100km).”
The sector Minister noted that, construction works in Lots 2, 4, 5 and 6 are at various levels of completion, but progress of work has stalled due to delay in payment for works done.
On the third phase of the Eastern Corridor road, Mr Amoako-Atta said, the contract is currently running for the Partial Reconstruction of Missiga – Garu road km(0.0-5.0) and Upgrading of Missiga – Kulungugu road km(0.0-10.0).
“Works commenced on 16th January, 2013 for completion by 15th April, 2016. Two other Contracts have been awarded for the Regravelling of Missiga – Garu road from km(5.0-10.0) and km(10.0-15.0).”
The Regravelling of the 15 km road from Missiga – Garu, the Minister noted has project commenced on 19th September, 2016 and was scheduled for completion by 18th September, 2017.
The Ministry of Roads and Highways he said, is undertaking detailed engineering study from Gbintri to Kulungugu scheduled to be completed by mid-2019, adding that funding would be sourced for the construction of that section of the road to commence.
He assured the MP and parliament of the government commitment to ensuring that the third phase is constructed to boost transportation and improve economy.
But Hon Alalzuuga said, though he appreciate the Ministry effort, he was surprised some of the Lots which have been budgeted and funds made available are been stalled due to lack of funds.
He said he would continue to monitor activities on the road and also check with the Ministry on progress of work done.
Source: the republic Newsline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba