The Ministry of Transport and Communication has embarked on public consultations over the construction of the long-awaited Tonota- Francistown Road, which is due to begin this year in May.
The Principal Public Relations Officer in the Department of Roads, Doreen Moapare, said that the whole mandate of the consultations is to prepare the general public of the affected communities on what to expect from the work during construction as this is going to be a massive project.
She added that although they were other consultations, which were done during the design stage of the project in 2003, the Ministry felt that it would be very important to hold more consultations before the actual start of the construction next month.
“These consultations will help solicit ideas and advice on how best to manage the inconvenience that will emanate from disruptions caused by the project,” she said. “These disruptions entail such things as road safety issues, relocation of services, possible expropriation of land, issues of by-pass usages and to inform the communities about the opportunities presented to them in this project.”
Moapare added that stakeholders, such as the political leadership, transport and business operators and government departments and the media, will also be consulted.
She said that it is of utmost importance that the public is properly consulted on this project to avoid complaints and inconveniences.
The consultation will encourage the general population to take ownership of such a development which will be in their areas.
She said that a tender for the project has already been floated and will close on the 2nd of May this year.
“Immediately after the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board has approved the award of tender subsequent to evaluation of bids, we will announce the successful bidder,” she said.
The construction of the Tonota-Francistown Road is expected to be completed in 2014.