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MPs want regional consultations on roads bill

FILE PHOTO; Tirinyi road

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament on the committee of physical infrastructure have called for regional public hearings on the Roads Bill 2018.

The objective of the bill among other things seeks to expand road reserves from the current 15 meters to 40 meters on both sides of the road.

The bill also seeks to reform laws relating to the development, management, and maintenance of public roads. It will introduce express penalties for drivers who violate axle load regulations.

The committee was on Tuesday meeting officials from the Uganda Road Fund to discuss the proposals of the Roads bill 2018.

MPs note that due to the interest the bill has generated, the bill should be taken to the public to deliberate.

The committee resolved that public hearings be held in Northern, Eastern, Central, Western and Southern regions of the country.

William Nzoghu, the MP Bunkonzo County says it would be prudent and fair that the public is involved. He says that the public is worried that bill is another version of the infamous constitutional amendment bill on forceful land acquisition.

Jonathan Odur, the MP Erute South says that the land amendment bill was very contentious and members need to be slow on approving 40 meters for road reserves. He says all members of the public should be consulted.

Committee chairman, Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko said several MPs and their constituents in areas of Rubaga and Kampala central have expressed interest in the bill.

In 2017, Government introduced a bill intended to amend article 26 of the 1995 Constitution to facilitate faster land acquisition for public infrastructure development by providing for Government to take possession of property of an owner pending a determination by the Court of any dispute relating to compensation. However, the bill was rejected by Parliament and general members of the public.

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