Government has asked funders of the road works on the Great East Road to consider adding the construction of a dual carriage way on Umodzi Highway.
Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Chanda Kasolo says he held a meeting with authorities from European based banks and Africa Development Bank last week to look at the road works.
Mr. Kasolo says he made three demands on the road works which include constructing a dual carriageway on Umodzi Highway from Chadiza Turnoff because the current road being constructed is too small and will not reduce on the accidents.
He added that a 12 kilometre bypass road from St. Monica’s Girls Secondary School turnoff passing through Chipata-Mchinji railway line to Chadiza turnoff should be included in the road works.
The Permanent Secretary says this will be of good help for heavy trucks that will be transporting goods to the dry port on the Chipata- Muchinji railway line so that they do not pass through town.
He also explained that the contractor should ensure that he adds walkways on the road.
And Mr. Kasolo says that the Chipata Airport runway should be added on the contract so that it is expanded and infrastructure at the airport modernized within one year.
Meanwhile Mr. Kasolo says government will construct a tobacco processing plant in Chipata so that the tobacco that farmers grow is processed locally to produce products like cigarettes.
He says that government wants to discourage the current situation where tobacco grown in Eastern Province is transported to other countries as row materials and comes back as a finished product.