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Encroachment of road corridor slowing tarmacking pace

Encroachment of road corridor by land grabbers and erection of electricity poles within the road reserve has been identified as the main bottlenecks to the tarmacking of Sh1billion Thika road.

Benjamin Asin, a Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) Assistant Director said works on the 17km Gatuanyaga ring-road in Thika East Sub county that started early this year was at 1 per cent completion as they slowed down due to such inconveniences.

He said the encroachment had derailed their efforts to mark and clear the road reserve, and that they were following up with the encroachers to have them relocate their structures. He said those who would defy will have their structures brought down.

Asin added that they were in talks with electricity provider, Kenya Power Company to relocate electricity poles that have encroached on the road reserves. “Other than those bottlenecks, we are progressing well. Already, we have soil tripped two kilometers of the road and the contractor is under instruction to fast-track the work. We hope to complete in 30 months’ time,” said Asin.

He called on residents to bear with the disruptions that will come with the construction of the road, especially breaking of water pipes hence causing water shortage.

The road will stretch from Gatuanyaga-Muguka-Ngurai-Munyu-Githima-Kang’oki-Kisii areas and will be Class B, meaning able to withstand heavy trucks that ferry building stones from local quarries. It is being funded by the national government and constructed by Inter-Works limited.

The contractor through KURA is also involved in the re-carpeting of Thika CBD roads at a cost of Sh700million. The works are at 40 per cent completion.

Thika MP Patrick Wainaina who had accompanied KURA engineers to monitor progress at the site today said they hoped works would be completed on time. Wainaina put on notice people who had encroached on the road and built structures, saying they risked losing their money.

He also warned estate developers and residents of brokers who were selling plots on the corridor.

The MP at the same time said once complete the road will open up the area to investments and raise the value of land. He thus advised residents to wait for the value of land in the area to shoot cautioning them not to be duped into selling it at throw away prices.

“We are encouraging people to acquire land and settle in this area and help decongest Thika town as well as ease traffic snarl ups in Thika town,” Wainaina said.

by Muoki Charles

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