By MATTHEWUKACHUNWA , Lagos
The right of way at Abeokuta, Ogun State, of the on-going Lagos-Ibadan Railway projecthas been moved northwards from its present position in order to avoid the demolition of over 1,000 buildings belonging to people in the area.
This action is taken in fulfillment of the promise made by Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, when he inspected the progress of work on the project in February, this year. The decision was reached in order to minimize the demolition of buildings that fell on the right of way.
The shifting of the right of way has also saved the federal government not less than 2.8 billion Naira that would have been spent in paying compensation to landowners whose property were to be demolished.
Amaechi disclosed this piece of information during the March edition of his routine monthly inspection tour of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway project.
Having regard to the commitee set up to handle and resolve emerging issues that arise from the project the minister of transportation said the committee has rescheduled the next inspection of the project to happen at end of March, instead of April. The committee gave the onset of rainy season as reason for its decision.
Amaechi also spoke of the obstacles to the project. Present obstructions met with in the project, according to him, include oil, gas and water pipelines, Apapa/Ijora bridge, power lines, sewage structures, railway stations and Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) staff quarters in Lagos State.
He assured that adjustment will be made on the planned removal of pipelines.
Taking into consideration the onset of rainy season which will hinder the progress of the project, he urged the contractor, CCECC, to expedite action on and increase the intensity of work in order not to experience much setback when rainy season begins..
When pressed on whether the project would still be accomplished in December this year as scheduled, the minister admitted the inevitability of rainy season affecting the plan, saying the elements cannot be ignored.
He asserted that it beholds on the contractor to find workable solution to the obstructions to be engendered by the onset of rainy seasonin order to complete the project on schedule.