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Land issues hamper completion of major road

Land acquisition issues may hamper the timely completion of a multi-million key Machakos road, the local County Development Implementation and Coordination Committee (CDICC) has been informed.

The full tarmacking of the eight-kilometer Mombasa road – Lukenya road is uncertain following the reluctance by two landowners to give authority for the contractor to work on the portions that traverse their land.

Briefing the CDICC members during a site visit Thursday, Eng. Musa Murunga of Kenya Urban Road Authority (KURA) Lower Eastern, said efforts to get the go-ahead from the two had hit a snag after they claimed compensation which the government had not factored during the initial budgeting.

Eng. Murunga explained that KURA had inherited the project from its counterpart KERRA which had overlooked the fact that the road was traversing two private plots.

The Shs523 Million project involves expanding and tarmacking of a road which shoots off from Mombasa Road and goes past the Lukenya campus of the Daystar University to join the Kinanie-Devki road. Undertaken by Sivad Construction Limited, the contract also involves the maintenance of the Mombasa Highway-Machakos road.

Commenced in August 2017, it was expected to be completed in August 2019, however the period was extended to December 2020. Already 86 per cent has been completed, leaving out the sections which cut across the two private lands.

The engineer urged the committee which was led by Machakos County Commissioner Fredrick Ndunga to help solve the standoff so that area residents and especially the Daystar fraternity can benefit from the road.

Also, in the team was a senior deputy director of the presidential delivery unit who doubles as the CDICC secretary Mr. Larry Mulomi.

The committee members also toured the sh. 47 million Kinanie-Devki road where KURA is undertaking tarmacking of a kilometer stretch and maintenance of a 22km stretch. It is contracted to Benmoore Civils Limited.

The committee called on Kenya Power to hasten the relocation of their poles which have encroached on the road reserve to enable the contractor to carry out his tasks efficiently. The link road is one of the Big Four Agenda enablers and is expected to open up the area and stimulate development activities. The committee members commended the two contractors and promised its continued support.

By Justus Keesi

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