Kaduna goes ga-ga over ur­ban road projects

Weekly Trust - - Weekend - An­drew Agbese & Chris­tiana T. Alabi, Kaduna Satur­day, Jan­uary 28, 2017

The var­i­ous road projects cur­rently in progress in parts of Kaduna State and the in­ten­sity of work might be an in­di­ca­tion that the state gov­ern­ment has de­cided to over­haul the en­tire road net­work in the state this year.

The ef­fort to re­ha­bil­i­tate the roads and con­struct new ones started last year with the al­lo­ca­tion of N29.77bn to the Works and Trans­port min­istry in the 2016 bud­get. To­wards the end of last year, bull­doz­ers and project ve­hi­cles went into ac­tion with the clear­ing and grad­ing of vast kilo­me­ters of roads in the state cap­i­tal.

Many of the projects are still on­go­ing but some, like the Ug­wan Doki and Ung­wan Sarki roads, were com­pleted last year.

The work was in­ten­si­fied at the be­gin­ning of 2017 with the clear­ing and cov­er­ing of drainages, cut­ting of dam­aged parts for re­pairs, re­fill­ing of loose patches as well as ex­pan­sion works and mount­ing of street lights.

The state gov­er­nor had last year said that the roads in the cap­i­tal and other ur­ban ar­eas of the state needed se­ri­ous work af­ter a long time.

He said he dis­cov­ered that even lo­cal gov­ern­ment head­quar­ters had no roads.

“Our roads some­times have no drainages, so they don’t last. We want to tell our peo­ple in the ru­ral ar­eas that ru­ral ar­eas can also be cities. You don’t all have to move to Kaduna, Zaria or Kafan­chan to have a good life. We will bring the good life to them, so we have a mas­sive pro­gramme for ev­ery lo­cal gov­ern­ment head­quar­ter and town,” he stated.

Shortly af­ter, the gov­ern­ment awarded con­tracts for the con­struc­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of many roads. These in­clude the du­al­i­sa­tion of the Ri­gasa-Col­lege Road, An­guwan Dosa, Aliyu Makama road in Bar­nawa and Sabon Birni road in Kawo.

Our cor­re­spon­dents learnt that the gov­ern­ment took up no less than 75 dif­fer­ent roads with a com­mit­ment to com­plete them be­fore the end of the first quar­ter of the year.

They in­clude the one in Bar­nawa which is 8 kilo­me­ters, Zaria road du­al­i­sa­tion and the 20-kilo­me­ter link roads in Ri­gasa area while 53 of the roads are in Ka­bala with 26 in Ung­wan Rimi.

The state Com­mis­sioner for Works, Hous­ing and Trans­port, Engr. Has­san Us­man Mah­mud, said the gov­ern­ment last year awarded 11 road con­tracts in­clud­ing those ear­marked for du­al­iza­tion and many town­ship roads.

“The four du­al­iza­tion projects in­clude the eight-kilo­me­ter Zaria road in Ri­gasa which pro­vides ac­cess to the Abuja-Kaduna train ter­mi­nal and the busy Aliyu Makama road in Bar­nawa, a 5.7-kilo­me­ter road. Oth­ers in­clude the Ung­wan Dosa and Sabon Birni du­al­iza­tion projects,” he said.

He said 29 more con­tracts were awarded cov­er­ing roads in both ur­ban and ru­ral ar­eas in 18 of the 23 LGAs of the state.

“We have awarded 30 other con­tracts, these in­clude some town­ship roads in Kafan­chan, Sabon Gari, Zaria, Hunkuyi, Giwa, Makarfi, Ikara, Kauru, Kaura, and other lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas and I be­lieve more will come in all the parts of the state,” he added.

He said the Zaria Road project in Ri­gasa was awarded in Jan­uary 2017 with an 18-month com­ple­tion pe­riod.

The com­mis­sioner added that af­ter the du­al­iza­tion in Ri­gasa, the state gov­ern­ment re­al­ized that there would be higher traf­fic be­cause of the Abuja-Kaduna Light Rail Ter­mi­nal, so in ad­di­tion to the du­al­iza­tion of the road, it is do­ing other town­ship roads with a to­tal stretch of 20 kilo­me­ters.

The gov­ern­ment, it was also learnt, has made pro­vi­sions for street­lights and re­lo­ca­tion of services like elec­tric poles, com­mu­ni­ca­tion masts and water pipes within the roads while work has also gone far on the Bus Rapid Trans­port (BRT) project in Kaduna me­trop­o­lis.

The project will be­gin from the Kawo over­head bridge to the NDA, Rabah Road, Ung­wan Sarki and ter­mi­nate at Lu­gard Hall Round­about.

To cater for buses, the ex­ist­ing du­alised roads will be ex­panded to three lanes on both sides.

“The pur­pose is to be able to have a sin­gle ded­i­cated lane that will be solely and uniquely for the spe­cial­ized bus ser­vice called the Rapid Bus Trans­port (BRT) the kind we have in de­vel­oped cities and La­gos,” the com­mis­sioner said.

Many res­i­dents of the state have ap­plauded the drainage projects.

A res­i­dent of Badarawa, Mustapha Aliyu, said in his over 30 years of liv­ing in Kaduna, he had never seen such a mas­sive road drainage project.

Mr. Richard Sa­muel of Sabo in Chikun Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area de­scribed as laud­able, the gov­ern­ment’s ef­forts, es­pe­cially on the drainage sys­tem ahead of the rainy sea­son, say­ing it would re­duce com­pen­sa­tion pay­ment and pur­chase of re­lief ma­te­ri­als for dis­placed per­sons as a re­sult of floods.

He how­ever ad­vised that in case of sub­se­quent projects, res­i­dents of ev­ery com­mu­nity should be en­gaged in me­nial jobs in­volved in such projects in or­der to give them a sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity. He ap­pealed to con­trac­tors han­dling the projects to com­plete the work quickly to re­duce con­ges­tion on the roads.

“There are some ar­eas where the refuse evac­u­ated from the gut­ters are left on the roads, I think some­thing should be done about them,” he ad­vised.

Mama Rabi, who sells vegetables by the road side in Kaduna South LGA, com­mended the drainage projects, say­ing, “Even though it has af­fected my busi­ness be­cause I had to give way to the work­ers to do their work, I still see the project as very need­ful, es­pe­cially as it will help re­duce flood and mosquitoes,” she said.

She ap­pealed to res­i­dents of the state, es­pe­cially women, chil­dren and traders to de­sist from throw­ing wastes in gut­ters.

Inusa Jib­ril, a res­i­dent of Tudun Wada, said the projects are cre­at­ing jobs for the peo­ple and en­cour­aged the gov­ern­ment to ini­ti­ate more to gain­fully en­gage the peo­ple.

Some res­i­dents said they had to bear the many in­con­ve­niences due to the con­di­tion of the roads as the work lasts.

Res­i­dents of Ri­gasa, Ri­gachikun, Rafin­guza and Hayin Dan­mani among oth­ers how­ever said gov­ern­ment is yet to com­mence such projects in the ar­eas.

Drainage un­der con­struc­tion.

More road and drainage con­struc­tion in a part of Kaduna me­trop­o­lis

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