Private developers who have encroached on access roads being constructed in Thika town estates have been ordered to pull down erected structures to fast-track tarmacking.
The Kiambu County Commissioner (CC), Wilson Wanyanga said encroachment has derailed tarmacking and rehabilitation of estate roads and added the illegality will not be condoned.
Speaking after leading the County Development Coordination implementation Committee tour of Thika town to monitor the progress of national government projects yesterday, Wanyanga said they had held discussions with the estate developers involved and expect buildings to go down.
The CC who was accompanied by area MP, Eng. Patrick Wainaina called for more engagement with estate developers to have them demolish their buildings on their own volition or risk demolition by the government.
“We want to engage the developers first as the roads must be constructed,” he said.
Some of the roads under construction are the Sh.1.8 billion Thika By-pass that passes through Umoja estate to join
Makongeni police station meant to decongest and open up the town.
The 10-kilometer stretch is 26 percent done, and should have beencompleted except for the extensive encroachment into the road reserve, according to the Central region Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) Deputy Director, Eng. Jacinta Mwangi.
Eng. Mwangi said encroachment had derailed the projects and calledfor more cooperation to fast-track the process.
Other roads whose construction is held back are the Kisii estate road, Broadways-Slaughter house road and the General Kago stretch.
The area MP told KURA to begin the construction work in non-contested areas, mark buildings that have encroached on the roads to prepare owners to start demolishing them.
Eng. Wainaina said once tarmacking works begin, tenants will be forced to vacate buildings that are on road reserves. It would also put off other developers from encroaching onto the roads.
He at the same time, revealed the frustrations they have experienced from influential persons who have grabbed road reserve land most of whom have acquired title deeds though the back door.
“We don’t need to demolish people’s houses overnight, but we should first engage them on the need to move and at the same time, pull down structures built on road reserves or grabbed land. This way we will save property,” he said.
He said the projects were geared towards enhancing accessibility, as well as creating an enabling business environment in the town.
By Muoki Charles