The Honourable Member of Parliament (MP) for the Krachi West Constituency, Helen Adjoa Ntoso has dragged the Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta to parliament over abandoned construction works on the Dambai to Krachi and Kete Krachi town roads projects.
Work on the projects which was awarded by the NDC government under the Cocoa Roads programme have stalled especially the Krachi Town Roads. According to the MP the contract, which was awarded on December 7, 2015, and commenced on July 28, 2016 was expected to be completed on July 29, 2018.
In view of the delay in completion, the MP for Krachi West who is also a former Volta Regional Minister filed a question in parliament for the minister for Roads and Highways to appear before the house to explain why the said projects could not be completed on schedule.
“Mr Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways the status of the road from Dambai to Krachi and Krachi town roads,” Ntoso asked.
The Minister for Road and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta, in his answer said, the 75 km road from Kete Krachi to Dambai had portion of 10 km upgraded in 2012 and the remaining 65 km was also awarded on contract for upgrading and reconstruction in three phases under the Cocoa Roads programme in 2015.
Touching on the Kete Krachi township roads, the sector Minister told parliament that the contract for the bituminous surfacing of the Krachi town roads was packaged together with other roads under the contract titled “Upgrading of Ehiamankyene Jn – Ehiamankyene, Ntewuso Town, Osramani Jn – Osramani, Kete Krachi Town and Borae – Chinderi Feeder roads covering a total of 40 km.
The Minister said that the contract was, “however, re-scoped downwards in terms of work content in 2017 under the rationalization of the Road Fund Projects.” He added that the contractor (First Sky) has, since the original works were re-scoped downwards, failed to resume work.”
Hon. Amoako Atta stressed that “Works executed before abandoning site include Clearing and formation level of 35 km, Construction of 600 mm x 600 mm concrete U-drains of 11 km, Construction of single 900 mm pipe culvert of 8 nos. and laying of gravel sub-base covering of 35 km.
With the delay of work on the project, the Sector Minister said: “the Department of Feeder roads has commenced the necessary contractual procedure to terminate the contract of First Sky for poor performance.” He said engineering studies and estimates for upgrading and rehabilitation of the Krachi town roads have been undertaken and being reviewed for procurement under the 2021 budget by the ministry.
Nevertheless, Hon Helen Ntoso noted that the lengthy process of termination and re-awarding of contract will cause further deterioration of the roads especially within the district capital and negatively impact economic activities and livelihood.
She expressed the hope that the government will recall the fact that the good people of Krachi lost their houses and their roads were submerged under the Volta river as a result of the construction of the Akosombo dam in 1964 and use that as good will regardless of the contractual twists and turns to expedite action on the Krachi Town Roads as soon as possible.
Hon Helen is puzzled as to why the government re-scoped the contract work content downwards in 2017 under the rationalization of the Road Fund Projects to undermine the quality of road work; and also, the reason the contractor, who has a good track record in road construction in this Country, is said to have performed abysmally? God help Ghana she concluded.