CONSTRUCTION work at all major junctions along Morogoro road where Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) infrastructure is being put in place should be done at night.
World Bank Country Director, Philippe Dongier said this in Dar es Salaam this week while responding to 'Daily News on Saturday' questions regarding the slow pace of the construction of Morogoro road and the contractor's decision to demolish all major junctions, thus, worsening traffic congestion in the commercial capital, that contractually the contractor is obliged to work at night.
Mr Dongier said, however, Strabag International GmbH of Germany which is one of the best construction companies in the world, has a contract with Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) to construct the 20.9 kilometres stretch from Kimara to Kivukoni BRT road, two terminals and 29 stations.
"The working hours for the contract are tailored by requirements of the laws of Tanzania which is between 7.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Our information is such that the contractor does not work during the night or on public holidays," the World Bank Country Director for Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda pointed out.
The three-year contract which started in March, last year, is due for completion in February 2015 but many city residents are concerned that such an important road going in and out of the central business district is being constructed with leisure.
"It's frustrating that such an important road should be demolished from Kimara to city centre with no clear bypasses while junctions have been squeezed from double to single-lane roads as it is at Akiba," said Ashraf Khan, Chairman of Container Depot Association of Tanzania (CDAT).
Mr Khan who found himself stranded for more than an hour while trying to reach Karimjee Hall through Bibi Titi Mohammed road much of it was spent between Mnazi Mmoja and Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), said the contractor should be compelled to hasten work along the vital road.
The German contractor has demolished almost the entire 20.9kms road with little or no work being done at major junctions at Shekilango, Magomeni and Akiba where traffic congestions have become a new order of the day.
Mr Dongier said the demolitions done along the road are also part of the construction work because the contractor has also to relocate some underground utilities before implementing road works. "However, you may also wish to note that the contractor is facing challenges that include encountering some underground utilities unexpectedly given the absence of mapping for most of these utilities," he noted.
TANROADS Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Patrick Mfugale said the construction work is on schedule and all financing has been secured. "The project is fully financed by the World Bank and we have no problem with funding," said Mr Mfugale.
He dismissed allegations that funding is a problem because the project design, according to the contractor, has been changed hence need for more money to compensate property owners living adjacent to the road.
Last month, World Bank released 100 million US dollars (more than160.8bn/-) to back the slow moving BRT project because the original design has been changed. In a statement, the World Bank said its executive board approved the additional financing which brings the total under the Second Central Transport Corridor Project to 290 million US dollars (more than 463.5bn/-).