The Minister for Kampala, Betty Amongi has said the renovated Old Tax Park in the city will be reopened in March.
On Friday, Amongi , together with the Deputy KCCA Executive Director, David Luyimbazi visited the Old Tax Park to assess the contract performance and progress of the construction works which are now at 70% completion.
“The engineers have indicated that by March,4, the park will be ready for utilization. In the next few weeks the park will be back to its bustling self,”Amongi said.
The park was closed in May last year and according to KCCA then, it was only to take three months for the renovation but the opening date has been extended on several occasions.
Speaking on Friday, the Kampala Minister said government takes note of the concerns raised by the taxi operators, users of the old taxi park and the general public over the time taken to complete these renovations but noted all this is intended to ensure works are done efficiently.
“We recognise the strategic importance of this park, given its location, as well as the livelihoods it supports and we are committed to ensure its swift but quality completion in order to restore trade order in the capital city,”Amongi said.
“We appeal to the taxi operators, the business community and the general public to keep calm as we complete renovation of this strategic workspace in the next two weeks and allow for finalising installation of an automated gate system and the construction of a waterborne public toilet.”
According to Eng. Justus Akankwasa, the acting Director in charge of Engineering at KCCA the drainage system has been improved to ensure the renovated taxi park doesn’t flood when it rains unlike in the past.
“I am very sure when it rains you will no longer see floods and sewerage as it was in the past. All that will be a story of the past,”Akankwasa said.
However, a section of taxi drivers raised concern over reduced parking spaces in the renovated taxi park.
They urged that KCCA should ask Multiplex not to charge them for parking space as they wait outside the park for their turn to enter the facility and pick passengers.
The renovation works are being undertaken by Stirling Civil Engineering Limited and Kiru General Services Limited.
The oldest taxi park in Uganda’s capital has for long been in a dire state but efforts to renovate it have always been frustrated by taxi operators who argued that they had not been consulted.