The China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, contractors handling the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line, says it has made appreciable progress in Lagos section in spite of impediments.
The firm’s Public Relations Consultant, Mr Abdul-Raouf Akinwoye, disclosed this to newsmen after an inspection tour of the project in Lagos section on Wednesday.
Akinwoye said the inspection become imperative to give the public the current picture of the level of work in the section after major work in other three sections of the project had almost been completed.
“The ongoing construction of the standard gauge rail line in Lagos section out of the four sections in the project is associated with many bottlenecks and impediments.
“Unforseen downpour, under ground cables, water pipes and gas pipelines have been parts of the impediments facing the work on this axis.
“In spite of all these challenges, as you can see, we have been working to see the speedy and timely completion of this project and meet the projection of the Hon. Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.
“We have moved most of our workers from other sections to Lagos section because work almost completed in other three sections. We have high concentration of workers and equipment in Lagos section now.
“We have also engaged more hands, mobilised equipment and facilities here to meet up with the target,” Akinwoye told newsmen.
He said that personnel and equipment were working day and night to ensure that the impediments in Lagos axis did not hinder the timely delivery of the project.
“Water pipes and gas pipelines are parts of the impediments we are talking about. We are doing a lot in Lagos section to ensure protection of this lines and to ensure that gas and water supply are not affected.
“While the project is ongoing, we want to ensure continuity of Lagosians having water and gas so that it will be that because of the projects they don’t have water supply.
“This pipes are being encased, that is, protected. That is why we are excavating them and protecting them with concrete so that it is will not affect gas and water pipes.
“As soon as that is done, we will shift the narrow gauge for the standard gauge formation. We are doing the engineering work, we are conscious of safety,” he added.
The consultant said that the company had been facing old culverts across the rail lines and constructing new and extended ones that could carry both the narrow and standard gauge lines.
According to him, most of the the culverts have been there for many years and the narrow gauge lines have been operating on them, but are not too strong to carry the new standard gauge.
“Some of these culverts have been completed while others are at various stages of completion. We have removed narrow guage line in some parts and relayed them while in some other areas work is at various stages,” Akinwoye said.
Newsmen report that construction of culverts and earth moving as well as excavation and protection of water pipelines are ongoing in Yaba, Ilupeju, Mushin, Oshodi, Ladipo, Ashade, Agege up to Iju area of the state.
Amaechi, had on Sept. 23 during his inspection of the project, said that the ambition of the Federal Government was to begin free ride on Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge rail line by November.
The minister, who inspected the construction works at the 10 stations along the 156-kilometre rail line, advised the contractors to speed up work on the project before his next visit in October.