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Travellers protest the closing of a section of a Murang’a road

Travellers using Murang’a – Kiriaini road have been forced to use a longer route after a section of the road was closed to allow rehabilitation.
Vehicles from Murang’a to Kiriaini town were diverted to use Gakonya Muhuaini road after the contractor closed the main road at Post Office area.
Motorists especially public service vehicles have complained of the long distance they have been forced to ply saying they will be subjected to losses since passengers refused to pay more fare so as to cater for the longer distance.
They accused the contractor of failing to make a diversion along the main route to spare them inconveniences.
The new route the motorists are directed to use is more than six kilometers with PSV drivers saying passengers have refused to pay more.
Boda boda riders took advantage of the situation and ferried passengers along the closed route charging their passengers Sh100.
A resident of Mugeka market located along the road a few kilometres from Murang’a town, Peter Njaramba described the closure of the road as a move that will force matatu operators to increase fares.
The resident said the contractor could have alerted the local communities of the new development instead of ambushing them to use long route to their destinations.
“Other roads like Thika superhighway during upgrading were not closed, contractors usually provide for diversions. What is special with Murang’a-Kiria ini road,” posed Njaramba.
Contracting Manager George Mugo said the closure of the road section will help them work effectively as most of the areas between Murang’a town and Mwirua are sloppy and it’s very hard to provide a diversion.
“Some of the materials used in road construction will take a week to dry thus the need to close the road temporarily. There is need to do a perfect job to ensure the road will last long,” said the manager.
A spot check by KNA, revealed public service vehicles raised their fares from Sh120 to Sh150 from Murang’a town to Kiria ini market.
On Sunday, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said a second contractor has been engaged by the government to work along the route from Mugeka to Kiria ini to ease connectivity.
The Sh 700 million project commenced early 2019, following protests by the local residents over the pathetic state of the road.
By Bernard Munyao

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