THE Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Dr Medard Kalemani, has issued a 14-day ultimatum for completion of the Power transmission line at Gongo la Mboto on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, as a part of Tanzania Energy Development and Access Expansion Project (TEDAP).
With sponsorship of over US 32 million dollars from the World Bank, TEDAP's objective is to improve the quality and efficiency of electricity service supply and to establish a sustainable basis for energy access expansion, plus renewable energy development in the country.
The deputy minister said that the five-year project (2009 to 2013) was five years behind schedule, saying the contractor was responsible for the delay and thus liable to pay a 10 per cent penalty.
"The project cost was pegged to the dollar. It is obvious that there is a huge difference in currency exchange rates since 2009. The contractor must shoulder this burden.
At the same time, I am ordering for the transfer of the project supervisors because maladministration was the main cause of the delay and people are tired of frequent power cuts," the visibly upset Dr Kalemani said.
Besides Gongo la Mboto, he also toured Mbagala, Kurasini and Kigamboni power distribution stations, which are similarly affected by project implementation delays, prompting him to issue separate five-day ultimatums for completion.
Over 12,000 clients are expected to benefit from power supply from the current 30,000 in Kigamboni, upon completion of expansions and installation of distribution lines. Apart from the major distribution plant at Kigamboni, the deputy minister also visited the site of its sub-transmission plant.
He expressed dismay over delays in embarking on construction activities, for which the government had already set aside 5bn/-.
However, Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) Managing Director, Dr Tito Mwinuka, clarified, however, that work was being held back by pending permits, including one from the National Environment Management Council.
Kigamboni District Commissioner (DC) Hashim Mgandilwa and Member of Parliament (MP) Faustine Ndungulile voiced complaints over frequent power interruptions averaging three a day. "Power cuts constitute one of the reasons behind stagnation of economic and development activities in this district.
It is really demoralising," said the MP. On a positive note, however, both praised Tanesco for power connection for service seekers within seven days.