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|Public Works Rolls Sleeves To Complete Belle Yella Rd -Threatens Contractor With Lawsuit|
|Published on May 19, 2010||Email To Friend Print Version
The Ministry of Public Works has rolled its sleeves, instituting several measures, to fast-track completion of construction work on the Belle Yella road, following reports that the newly constructed road was in a deplorable state.
Construction of the road that burst into the erstwhile notorious Belle Yellah prison town made headlines for days in December 2009 and early January 2010, when motor vehicle for the first time reached that part of the country.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had promised the people that her government would connect the town (where political prisoners and hardened criminals were airlifted) with the rest of the country by motor road, and she would celebrate Christmas with them.
President Sirleaf’s convoy entered the town early Christmas morning and jubilated with the people, registering one of the major landmarks of her administration.
But six months later, there are claims that the very road which the Ministry of Public Works, through a contracted firm, is still building is in a deplorable condition.
A US based Gbarpolu citizen visiting the country, Joseph K. Bannie, said the road and bridges leading to Belle Yella are in a deplorable state, but the Public Works Ministry said the situation on the Belle Yella road is not unique.
However, Acting Public Works Minister J. Jenkins-Mends-Cole has given reassurance to residents and citizens of Bella Yella that everything will be done to accelerate and complete the on-going road construction in the area.
The Ministry says it has noted the slow pace of work on the road but has now taken corrective actions to fast-track and completes the road successfully.
“In a bid to accelerate the completion of the 88-Kilometers road from Bopolu to Belle Yella, the Ministry of Public Woks has held formal meetings with the contractor, Pealat Construction Company, officials of Gbarpolu County and other stakeholders including citizens along the road with the objective of meeting the project completion date,” a release from the Ministry issued last evening noted
Measures the Ministry has instituted with immediate effect, according to the release, include the assigning of a full time MPW engineer to buttress the Resident Engineer assigned to the contractor, and he is provide daily progress report on every aspect of on-going work.
Senior Management of the Ministry will hold weekly on-site meetings in order to assess the level and quality of work being carried out by the contractor, while a weekly progress report will be provided by both the full time engineer and the contractor with specific details on length of road completed, bridge construction level and other technical work.
“However,” the release stated, “the Ministry is calling on individuals to seek clarifications from the MPW, instead of making unfounded and baseless statements that could mislead the public.”
It said the Ministry of Public Works is a highly placed government institution mainly focused on professional and technical work. “Hence, its work is not a quick-fix event and exercise as some would want the public to think and believe, but rather a process that requires proper planning, design and implementation -- all of which are indeed time-consuming and involve complex processes of resource mobilization.”
The Ministry says it has duly notified the contractor that it would not countenance continuous delay or change in the project delivery or completion date as scheduled.
It also stressed that failure on the part of Pealat Construction Company to execute the project in line with the scope of work and date of completion, the MPW will not hesitate to institute the necessary legal action for damages associated with breach of contract.
“The Ministry also wishes to inform the public to note that the road condition is no different from most other laterite roads in rural Liberia,” the release concluded.