Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Magufuli: Demolition of structures within road reserve areas to continue unabated

THE government has reiterated its commitments to continue demolishing people’s structures which shall be found to have been constructed within road reserve areas despite claims by many people in various parts in the country. It has been learnt. The Minister for Works, Dr. John Magufuli made the concern early this week in Parliament when winding up his ministry’s budget estimates for 2013/14 financial year which was approved with Sh. 1.22 trillion by the National Assembly and accepted almost by 99 percent of the law makers. The call by the government comes about after having realized that, there are some areas reserved for road construction in the country which have been invaded occupied and structures have been built an aspect that it gives hard time for the government to undertake road construction activities.   He said that, the government would not entertain cases raised as a result of demolition exercises taking place in various parts in the country which involves people who do not want to follow the rules and regulations laid down by the government. He assured law makers that, no compensation will be made to any person, an institution, or a family whose structures will be demolished to pave way for the road construction as their presence within road reserve areas shall have violated the rules and laws set which requires such areas to be left vacant for the development and expansion of roads in the country.  However, he noted that, those who would be liable for payments are only those whose structures shall be found to be within the area intended for construction after a feasibility study has been carried out to undertake new construction project. He said the government will not be ashamed to suppress its operation just because of some few individuals whatsoever who have constructed their buildings along road reserve in the country, and instead would work accordingly as per what the law says.  Magufuli reacted on the issue after he had received an advise from an MP Mohamed Ibrahim Sanya (CUF) who was contributing a point in his ministry’s budget estimates and wanted to know what steps taken by the government in order to pay compensation to people who in one way or another had invaded road reserve areas and probably without their knowledge had built their houses there. An MP Sanya was on the view of the fact that, mostly affected people who have their houses demolished, had constructed them in recent years when the government had declared such areas as road reserve during 1960s or 70s when such areas were not yet occupied or developed into townships. In reply, Minister Dr. Magufuli said that, their fate is less concerned with the government’s laws as it is a responsibility of anybody to take precaution before embarking on building by consulting the relevant authorities such as land district officers in various councils in the country to get clarification about the area for their safety. Meanwhile, Dr. Magufuli has unveiled the ministry's ambitious budget for the financial year 2013/14 pledging to maintain infrastructural upgrades that would ease traffic jams in Dar es Salaam city.  He has however outlined major efforts currently being undertaken by the government in a bid to curb the highly traffic congestion in the city of Dar es Salaam. He however, reiterated the government’s need to accomplish the already planned projects currently going on as to be completed within two years’ time from now. He mentioned the projects as the construction of the a one kilometer flyover bridge to be constructed at a junction of Tazara and Nelson Mandela Road whose construction is set to start in this financial year. He also mentioned the Kigamboni suspended bridge which is to be financed on loan basis b y National Social Security Fund (NSSF). The expansion of New Bagamoyo road into a dual carriageway whose construction is set to start at any time from now, and currently the ongoing construction of a highway from Kimara to Magogoni which on its completion will be used to facilitate to Dar Rapid Transport project. Meanwhile, pledges made by President Jakaya Kikwete to improve roads in the country dominated a debate on the 2013/14 budget estimates tabled by the Ministry of Works, with MPs demanding immediate action on all promised projects. Debating the ministry's proposals for two days, the MPs used the president's promises to argue their case for the construction of tarmac roads, charging that failure to execute the projects amounted to insubordination by the minister.  Debating the approved 1.22tril/- budget for the ministry, majority of the MPs praised Dr Magufuli for the job well done, but raised concern over compensation problems that citizens face when they are compelled to relocate to pave way for road projects.

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