Motorists and passengers will wait until end of November when the upgraded Old Taxi Park will be ready for use, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has said.
The KCCA head of public and corporate affairs, Mr Daniel Nuweabine, told Daily Monitor yesterday by telephone that the renovation works are currently at 70 per cent and completion is expected by end of November.
“There is a section of the park which hasn’t been tarmacked and there is also electricity installation works which are currently ongoing and once this is done, we will unveil the facility to the members of the public. Our mandate as KCCA is to ensure that our people get better and safe working spaces and are happy that the Old Taxi Park has got a facelift,” Mr Nuweabine said.
His response was triggered by taxi operators who have since raised complaints over the delayed upgrade of the park.
They argue that the delay has worsened traffic jam in the city centre since most taxis now operate on streets. The upgrade commenced in May and KCCA indicated that the works would be complete by August.
“The available taxi parks cannot accommodate all the taxis and this has created a crisis in the city centre because taxis now park anywhere and there is no orderliness at all. KCCA told us that they would upgrade the park in three months but it looks like the works will take some time and it is affecting our operations,” Mr Castro Ssekyaya, the deputy chairperson of Uganda Transporters Development Agency, said.
Mr Nuweabine, however, urged taxi operators to be patient, adding that the contractor is doing final works on the taxi park.
He did not explain why the contractor failed to meet the August deadline.
Mr Nuweabine said upon completion, all taxis will be sent back to the old park.
Taxis, which previously operated in the Old Taxi Park, are now in Usafi, Kisenyi, Namirembe Road, New Taxi Park and on streets.
Currently, the city has three public taxi parks: Old Taxi Park, New Taxi Park and Usafi Taxi Park. The rest of the taxi parks across the city’s five divisions are privately owned.
The works on the park included excavation, installation of underground drainage lines, rock fill, and building new foundation layers for carpet and surfacing of the constructed layers with asphalt concrete (tarmac).
The new carpet will have markings to delineate areas for parking and for taxi and pedestrian movements. The park boundaries will be retained properly to prevent mud from washing onto the carpet as has been the case. There will be lighting and waiting sheds for passengers.
The park will have designated entry and exit points for both vehicles and pedestrians and will have access control for vehicles to avoid queuing on the surrounding roads. The park will also have sanitary facilities such as toilets, an administration block and a police post.