Transport and Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Musonik has said the government will not compensate persons who have encroached on road reserves.
“All those who have property on road reserves will not be compensated as we continue to implement the country’s infrastructure agenda,” Musonik said.
Speaking on Thursday in Nairobi as a guest speaker at the Kenya Association of Manufacturers Members Sundowner themed,” Decongesting city centers and infrastructure development to support industries in Kenya”, he said the ongoing developments will stimulate economic growth.
“In the long run, we shall have a vibrant kind of infrastructure which will in turn reduce the cost of doing business. We have a bright future in terms of confidence,” he added.
Musonik noted that the country’s demand for new infrastructure projects is on ‘high demand, but then then there is maintenance.
“The government’s priority is to complete ongoing projects; we have no new projects for the last three years. We have done most of the projects in the Country,” he said. This was a similar statement made by President Uhuru Kenyatta in his State of the Nation address at the National Assembly.
President Uhuru said,” My immediate predecessor’s administration laid great emphasis on road construction, and rightly so. My administration has built on the strong foundation he started. To this end, my priority has been three-fold: first, to complete the road works commenced by President Kibaki’s administration; second, to open up major new national trunk routes; and third, to implement the ambitious Roads Annuity Programme that will provide thousands of kilometres of low-volume tarmac roads to Kenya’s rural communities.”
According to Uhuru, his government in the last three years has tarmacked approximately 3000 kilometres – or an average rate of 1000 kilometres per year.
Musonik, says the government spends Ksh 25 Billion on maintenance below the annual requirement of Ksh40Billion.
The PS further said to improve the rural infrastructure, 18 contracts have already been awarded nationally to have the roads done. He anticipates that 3000 kilometres of road will be tarmacked in the next three months under phase one.
To finance the massive projects, he said they are looking at the private sector, a commitment from their development partners and through Public-Private Partnership in Infrastructure (PPPI) program.
He said they are working on a uniform toll kind of policy in implementing the toll roads in order to improve expansion and level of maintenance of roads in the country.
The road projects to be privatized include the 490 km Nairobi to Mombasa road, 180 km Nairobi to Nakuru highway, Nairobi Southern Bypass and Thika super highway.
To curb the influx of vehicles in the country which he termed is as a result of ‘vibrant economy’ they will introduce a mass rapid transport system and the construction of ring roads around major cities and urban centers.
Musonik however, faulted the counties for lacking standards to follow when implementing their rural infrastructure projects by contracting qualified engineers.
“They do not have capacity. That is why we are currently issuing guidelines on rural infrastructure developments,”said Musonik.
The guidelines are part of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Bill that proposes the smooth implementation of critical infrastructure by developing standards to be followed before any critical infrastructure program is implemented.
These standards, will stipulate rules and regulations to be followed by all those planning to put up critical infrastructure.