Work On Gulu - Nimule Road to Delay Until 2012

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In short
Travelers along the Gulu – Nimule road may wait a little longer before the proposed construction gets underway due to extended delays in the procurement process.

Travelers along the Gulu – Nimule road may wait a little longer before the proposed construction gets underway due to extended delays in the procurement process.
 
Originally scheduled to begin by June 2011, the construction work may as well now delay until 2012.
 
Dan Alinange, the spokesperson for Uganda National Roads Authority says that evaluation work for the construction companies that showed interest to do the work is now complete but added that they are yet to receive a confirmation from the World Bank of the eventual winner of the bid to tarmac the road.
 
Alinange said a total of 6 contractors competed for the work but declined to disclose the companies saying the names would remain confidential until the eventual winner is announced. He added that once announced, the winner is allowed three more months to assemble the required machinery for work at the site before work could officially begin. 
 
//Cue in: “It has delayed a bit…”
Cue out: “…the bureaucracy involved.”//
 
However, a reliable source in the ministry of works told Uganda Radio Network that the construction work has delayed due a controversy that emerged during the evaluation process. According to the source, one of the companies that lost the bid challenged the manner in which the best bidder was identified.
 
But Alinange said he could neither comment on the claim nor name the companies involved in the evaluation saying the matter will remain confidential until the eventual winner is announced.
 
The news about the continued delay has attracted bitter reactions from the road users who have been anxious to see the commencement of the work to tarmac the road.
 
Geoffrey Atocon, a taxi driver who drives between Gulu to Pabbo, which is a section of the Gulu – Nimule stretch says that the poor state of the road is responsible for a high rate of breakdown of their vehicles, the cost of maintenance and the transport fare. He said the distance of about 40 kilometers takes about two hours due to the bad state of the road.
 
The transport fare from Gulu to Pabbo is currently at 8,000 shillings, while from Gulu to Nimule one has to pay 20,000 shillings.
 
Beatrice Akello, a farmer at Kal parish in Pabbo Sub County says that they can no longer transport their produce for better prices in Gulu town due to the state of the road that makes transportation expensive. During heavy rains, the road becomes impassible, often delaying travelers and frustrating traders dealing in perishable goods as the vehicles sometimes remain stuck on the muddy, pothole riddled road for days.
 
Milton Odongo, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner, one of the frequent users of the road has described the pot holes gracing the road as graves. Odongo wonders whether the Uganda National Roads Authority is concerned about the plight of the road users.
 
The 104 kilometer road is expected to cost 200 billion shillings and the construction is to be funded by the World Bank and the Japanese government. Also included in the consultancy for upgrading under the Gulu – Nimule road is a 6 kilometer stretch between Gulu town to Custom Corner as well as Layibi to Custom Corner.
 
Once complete, the stretch would improve on business and traffic between Uganda, Kenya, DR Congo and South Sudan.