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Doubt clouds major expansion plans for Kariakoo market

20th May 2012
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Kariakoo Market

Plans by the Kariakoo Market Corporation (KCM) management of constructing a 30-storey modern shopping centre seem to be faltering despite the documentation of a master plan of the building being in place.

The new structure to be located adjacent to the current main market built in early 1970s would replace the old market, which survived the building of the larger complex.

The old market characterised by its famed underground is to be demolished to pave the way for the modern multi-storey structure. The project was scheduled to be completed within 18 months since it was first commissioned to a Chinese strategic investor in 2010.

Due to this delay, investigations by The Guardian on Sunday have discovered that there is a likelihood of the investor who was initially awarded the tender of erecting the modern facility to pull out of the contract if the government would not give a go ahead of the project sooner than later.

KMC General Manager Florence Seiya said in an exclusive interview early this week that the investor in this project is still waiting for permission from higher authorities.

However, he couldn’t disclose the precise level of government to give the permission, the name of investing firm or the costs of the building, but maintained that the KMC management has been told to hold on the project until further notice.

He was however astonished by the authorities’ position and negative attitude about the project, and yet everything is on the table including business and site plans plus architectural drawings, with only the permit standing in the way to start on the work straight away.

“We are only waiting for the higher authorities to give us the green light in order to kick off the project whose feasibility study and other details were already handed over to the strategic investor to start working.

But to my great dismay I am surprised to see that the authorities have halted the project telling the investor to wait, for unclear reasons,” he said. The construction of this project seems to have been hijacked by political motives driven by a few individuals who want to benefit from it, a mindset that is retarding the project’s development, the manager intoned.

He leveled blame at few politicians, some of them decision makers, who have turned the project into a private political agenda, and that is why they have failed to make a quick decision.

In this way the earmarked investor is thinking of formally withdrawing from the contractual engagement he entered with KMC for reason of inconsistency and bureaucracy.

SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY
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