Wakiso. The Minister for Works, Gen Katumba Wamala, has said government will widen road reserves to 40 metres.
He said the current 15 metre road reserve has been a countrywide menace, and has led to difficulties where government sought to expand roads.
“What complicates road expansions are huge sums of money incurred in compensations. In fact government has instituted an inquiry to dig out why compensations in Uganda is too high,” Gen Katumba said.
He indicated that reserve expansion is one of the proposals in the Roads (Amendment) Bill 2017. The Bill seeks to reform the law relating to the development, management and maintenance of public roads and repeal the archaic Roads Act of 1949 and the Access to Roads Act of 1969.
He, however, said that the move will only be applied in areas where new roads will be constructed.
Gen Katumba was on Tuesday commissioning construction of a new tarmac road that will be constructed in phases, with the first one taking two kilometres at a cost of Shs3.28b. Abubaker Technical Services was awarded the deal.
Wakiso District Engineer Samuel Mwesigwa and Makindye Ssabagabo Municipal Engineer Geoffrey Ndiwalana told the minister it was a hard task to convince residents to donate land free of charge.
“But because residents are aware the projects will benefit them, they give us the land,” Mr Ndiwalana said.
The Makindye Ssabagabo Mayor, Mr Gerald Lumbuye, said some politicians were cautioning residents against giving land to government for road construction. However, Gen Katumba asked the community to ignore such people.
There was excitement when Gen Katumba announced that preparations to have Busaba Kibuye road constructed where complete.
He said the dusty road, where a district chairman was once beaten and showered with dust years ago, will go with another project that will see flyover erected at four points of Kajjansi-Munyonyo Spur.
“The plan to improve Munyonyo Spur that has had killer spots is complete and it is the same project that will have Busabala road tarmacked.” Gen Katumba said.
He asked leaders to expedite the processes of community consent to give land without compensation. However, for Nakawuka-Kasanje-Kisubi –Mpigi road, Gen Katumba said he would not offer false hope.
“There is no immediate plan for that road. Even the preliminary steps, designs are not yet. We will have to wait,” he said.
Meanwhile, construction of another road named after the late Andrew Kasagga Zzimwe has also been commenced and tarmacking it will be completed at the end of June next year.