9 Oct 2008

Construction of new CBD in Tonga's capital to start next month

6:04 pm on 9 October 2008

The construction of facilities for a modern Central Business District in Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa will start next month.

Matangi Tonga reports the construction is largely funded by a 57.5 million US dollar loan from China and other loans to the Tongan government.

Solar-powered street lights, underground telephone and electric wiring, a new sewerage system and extensive underground drainage system with pump stations are included in the civic works planned.

The transport minister Paul Karalus, who is also chairman of a technical team that monitors and oversees the reconstruction work, confirmed work would begin in November.

The government signed the loan agreement with China last month after months of negotiations between landowners, the Chinese architect, the main construction company and the Ministry of Finance.

Following the signing, three borrowers have committed to the reconstruction scheme, utilising only 40 per cent of the capital available.

Mr Karalus says another 9.6 million dollars had been allocated for civic construction works, including a drainage system, road works, lighting and a sewerage system, leaving about 29 million dollars for others to join the scheme.