Malawian cities will soon have a government coordinated high-range, uptown and modern mode of public transport, State Vice President cum Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, Saulos Chilima has said.
A visibly hope-filled Chilima disclosed this Thursday at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe when he held a joint meeting with the Budget and Public Accounts Committees of Parliament to lobby them to support the budget, and to embrace the implementation of the Malawi 2063 vision and improvement of the mining sector as a mainstay.
Chilima said: “The government has allocated funds in the 2021/2022 budget to upgrade urban roads in preparation for the introduction of public transport in the cities in three years time.
The State Vice President said President Lazarus Chakwera approved an ambitious programme for upgrading of the country’s metropolitan road networks in order to transform the cities, ease congestion and as part of implementation of the Malawi 2063 Vision.
“This budget has begun funding the transformation of urban road networks. These developments are in preparation for the reintroduction of public transport in the Cities in the next three years.” said Chilima.
Chilima said in this year’s budget focus has been to upgrade the road network in the capital and business-centred city, Lilongwe.
He said: “Provision has been made for similar developments in the other cities.”
Some of the major roads to undergo a facelift in Lilongwe are dualisation of the M1 road from Kanengo to Lilongwe CCAP with funding from Chinese, Japanese and Malawi government’s own resources.
The other, according to Chilima, is the expansion of the Kenyatta Road that links the Old Town and City Centre into triple lanes each way
Again, the dualisation of the Mzimba Street which links Cross Roads Roundabout and Lilongwe CCAP through the Amina Roundabout, Kamuzu Central Hospital and Mchesi will be refurbished.
In addition, this budget has also made provision for the first phase of the dualisation of Kaunda Road from Bingu Stadium in Area 49 going towards Nsungwi in Area 25.
The responsibility for public transport management in Malawi lies with the Ministry of Transport and Public Works through the Directorate of Road Traffic and Safety Services.
The Directorate is charged with administering regulatory provisions relating to motor vehicle administration, driver licensing administration, operator authorization and control of permits.
Since 2000 more reforms has been undertaken to liberalize the public transport sector.
The 2004 National Transport Policy, fully deregulated the market by removing any restrictions on entry and exit to the collective passenger transport sector while giving the sector the freedom to set its own tariffs.
The situation therefore evolved from one of government-controlled prices before 2000 into a free market in which prices are determined by the industry itself, with the government only being informed about prices just prior to implementation.
Malawi leader, President Lazarus Chakwera on several occasion has assured Malawians of his Administration’s commitment to restructure and improve the road networks in the country per his campaign promise and in line with Malawi Agenda 2063 saying the government is set to commence construction and rehabilitation of road projects across the country.
Speaking during the opening of budget session for 2021/2022 financial year in Parliament, President Chakwera said his administration will expand the dual carriage way of the M1 road from Crossroads roundabout to Alimaunde in Kanengo and the dual carriage of the M1 road section between Lilongwe Hotel and Lilongwe CCAP road section.
Chakwera said the Kenyatta Drive and Mzimba street will be expanded to six lanes, saying the other road to be rehabilitated is Nsipe to Liwonde road and construction of Toll Plazas on the M1 Road at Chingeni in Ntcheu district and Kalinyeke in Dedza district.
He said the M7 Road will be upgraded from Dzaleka-Ntchisi-Mpalo-Malomo road to paved road covering a distance of 70 Kilometres as well as the M5 Balaka market-Kaphatenga-Dwangwa-Mukwiya in NkhataBay.
The President said as Government’s effort to ensure quality infrastructure in the country, his Administration, among other measures, is revising the National Construction Industry Act of 1996 and its subsidiary regulations to be in line with African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area.
The Malawi leader promised that the Tonse Alliance Administration will resuscitate the Sena Corridor Railway from the port of Beira in Mozambique to Limbe, saying this will involve rehabilitation and upgrading of the 201 Km Limbe-Marka railway section.
“My Administration is determined to bring back the glory that our flagship airline once enjoyed before finalizing the establishment of the Malawi Civil Aviation Authority to regulate the Air-Transport sub sector,’’ said Chakwera.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :