The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, has warned road contractors that substandard work is unacceptable and that if they do shoddy work in the country government will blacklist them.
Nankhumwa urged contractors that the roads they build must be of high standards.
He made the remarks on Friday when he was accompanied by the Lilongwe City Mayor, Cllr. Dr. Desmond Bikoko, and other officials who inspected road-upgrading projects in the city following concerns of some problems to job.
The roads the minister inspected were the NCIC– Area 24, which was heavily under criticism and the Biwi Health Centre – Area 23 constructed by Plem Construction Limited (PCL).
Residents of the areas where the roads pass had complained that the the road had began to wear out even before they had lasted six months.
But Plem Director Mohan Krishnan, assured the minister that the problem had been rectified and that the roads were now stronger than expected because the contractor had put a second layer of slurry.
“The problem we had was that we embarked on the project during the rainy season between November and December so the rains washed away most of the work and we had to apply another layer of slurry and this will make the road stronger than the rest of its category,” said Krishnan.
He said Plem saw it fit to apply the second layer at the company’s own expense amounting to K150 million to safeguard the reputation PCL had and the good relationship it had with the Malawi government.
Both the two projects are 100 percent complete in terms of bitumen and slurry application and side drains are about 60 percent complete, according to Krishnan.
On the ‘invisible rumble surface’ throughout the roads that is only felt by motorists when driving Krishnan said the ‘rumble surface’ would soon go as the road gets smoother with the traffic driving on it.
“In three months time that bumpy feeling will go since bitumen is elastic and it will spread even and swallow the said bumps with the continued passing traffic,” explained the PCL engineer.
In his response after inspecting the roads, Nankhumwa said from a layman’s point of view he was satisfied with what Krishnan had told him but he said it would require a person with technical knowhow to fully understand it.
He emphasized that government would never sit aside and see contractors do “shoddy” work when it is public funds that support such projects.
“Every shoddy work becomes a concern to government because it is tax-payer’s money that is at stake,” explained Nankhumwa. “We came in as a ministry following the concerns, we talked to the City Council and today we thought of conducting this inspection.”
Nankhumwa has since appealed to all contractors in the country to strive for excellence every time they are entrusted with a job as it is Malawians who fund most such projects through taxes.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :