The government said its Shandong Hi-Speed contractor has resumed work on the second phase of Juba – Bahr el Ghazal highway from Terekeka to Yirol in Lakes State on Saturday.
The construction resumes nearly a year after President Kiir commissioned the first phase of the highway from Juba to Terekeka.
The 392-kilometer road is being built by Shandong Hi-Speed Corporation as part of a government project to connect Juba City to the Bahr el Ghazal region.
Peter Kuot Jel, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Roads and Bridges said the construction work on the Terekeka-Yirol section resumed yesterday.
Speaking to SSBC in Terekeka town, Kuot said the contractor has promised to complete the second phase soon.
“We have started asphalting toward the end of Central Equatoria and heading to Bahr el Ghazal. We have now begun the Phase Two section with coordination and cooperation of JW and Shandong Hi-Speed. This is going to be made possible,” he said.
The deal with the Chinese firm obligates Juba to allocate 30,000 barrels of crude oil per a day as payment for the infrastructure.
The road construction from Juba to Terekeka, and Yirol to Rumbek was expected to be completed within 36 months. But it has now taken four years.
Undersecretary Kuot further advised local communities against encroaching into the highway.
“Whoever is sitting around here must understand this is on a temporary arrangement,” he warned.
“This land is gazette as the turning point to Bahr el Ghazal linking Central Equatoria to Bahr el Ghazal and nobody should by any mean resist government plan.”
Responding to allegations of unauthorized land demarcations along the highway, Central Equatoria Minister of Land and Housing denies giving any permission for such allotments.
“Basically, this place was given long time ago to the roads authorities, but you know actually the road can bring businesspeople. That is the reason why they are here not because it is their land, it just because of business. But this land is already belonged to the Roads Authorities.”
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