GOVERNMENT has kicked off the construction of four more new toll gates at Shamabala, Mumbwa, Chisamba and Chongwe at a cost of K100 million, Parliament heard yesterday.
Minister of Works and Supply Ronald Chitotela said the scope of works at the sites included widening of the carriageway, reinforcing the pavement with concrete, construction of a control building and provision of the toll system.
He said the new toll gates would be situated on the high ways between Lusaka and Kabwe, Lusaka and Kafue, the 20 kilometers after Chongwe going east and another 20 kilometers before Mumbwa turn-off.
The minister said the contractor had been mobilised and works were progressing well on all the four sites at a cost of K100 million.
“Field assessments and traffic counts are being done to determine viability and the road condition on setting up six additional sites across the country which include the following:
“Choma about 20 kilometers before Choma, Garneton between Kitwe and Chingola, Levy Mwanawasa/Mufu tree, Serenje – Mpika, Solwezi- Mutanda and Mbala – Nakonde,” he said.
Mr Chitotela said the estimated cost of construction for the ten new toll stations with the exception of Kafulafuta and Manyumbi toll station was K100 million.
Meanwhile, Parliament was informed yesterday that since the inception of the tolling programme in 2013, a total of K1.1 billion has been collected in form of toll fees at all toll collection points which constitute 10 ports of entry or borders and two inland toll stations.
The House was also informed that on average the national tolling programme accounted for monthly collection of K39 million.
Mr Chitotela said with concerted efforts, Government could raise enough revenue for road rehabilitation and maintenance without resorting to costly borrowing.
He said he would soon sign a Statutory Instrument to revise the toll fees in order for the nation to be collecting about US$1.5 million per annum.
“Clearly, this is the direction that the Government must take and I wish to assure this House that this is the route we are going to take. My ministry plans to roll out up to 40 new tolling stations by end of 2017.
“The main objective is to exponentially increase non-tax revenues in the form of tolls which would be channelled towards road maintenance programmes,” Mr Chitotela said.