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Illegal buildings on Meru-Nanyuki road set for demolition

An excavator demolishes an illegal building in Nairobi
An excavator demolishes an illegal building in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has ordered people occupying road reserves along the planned dual carriage in Meru town to vacate or risk their buildings being demolished.

The authority sounded the warning as it moves to secure a 40-metre corridor in the 13.6-kilometre road whose construction is set to begin late next year.

The KeNHA upper eastern regional manager Albert Semutwa said there would be no negotiations with people who have built structures on road reserves, saying they would be pulled down.

“There is an encroachment on the road reserve, especially around Makutano and very soon we will issue a 30-day notice to owners of those structures. If they don’t leave we will demolish them,” he warned, adding that the illegal encroachers would not be compensated.

Mr Semutwa spoke on Wednesday during a stakeholder forum in Meru, which brought together local leaders and owners of properties along the corridor.

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The agency plans to build a 13.6-kilometre dual carriage in Meru town, which will link the western and eastern bypasses in what is believed to be the solution to frequent traffic snarl-ups in the town that has become a transit point with the growth of Isiolo and Nanyuki.

The Kenya Urban Roads Authority built both bypasses that originate in Gikumene — three kilometres from Meru town along the Meru-Embu road — at a cost of Sh2.9 billion.

The 8.8-kilometre western bypass links motorists to the Meru-Nanyuki road in Gitoro near Meru National Polytechnic while those travelling to Maua and the Meru National Park take the 12.6-kilometre eastern bypass, linking the Meru-Maua road at Kaaga Girls High School.

The new road also starts in Gikumene across the town to Makutano where an interchange will be built to Gitoro, connecting with the western bypass.

Another 5.4-kilometre dual carriage will be built from Makutano, linking the eastern bypass at Kaaga Girls and to Ruiri junction for motorist travelling to Isiolo airport.

Patrosiu Njeru, a consultant with Runji Consulting Group, said at least 144 plots would be affected, and asked owners to put their documents in order.

“We have done the preliminary designs and after the current sensitisation forums with the stakeholders, we will work on the detailed designs and tender documents which should be ready by February next year.

“The contractor should break ground by the end of 2020,” said Dr Njeru.

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