Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament have welcomed a proposal by the government to expand the size of road reserves from the current 15 to 40 meters. The proposal is embedded in the Roads amendment bill 2018, which also seeks to reform laws relating to the development, management and maintenance of public roads.
The proposal will also introduce express penalties where drivers who violate axle load regulations are made to pay cash and not taken to court.
Amuru woman MP Lucy Akello says that the move is long overdue, adding that Ugandan roads are so narrow compared to roads in countries across the region. She however says the issue of compensation should properly be handled.
But Kiboga County MP Keefa Kiwanuka says the move is likely to spark anxiety across the country because almost all road reserves are filled with settlements.
Arua Municipality MP Kassiano Wadri says the government should not only look at the proposal to expand road reserves, but also the roads. He says the current congestion on the roads in unbearable.
Kumi Municipality MP Silas Aogon said the government should be mindful of compensation issues while implementing the proposal. He says they need to design a strategy that will not leave the people in doubt and up in arms. According to Aogon, the 40 meters that the government wants could be someone’s only piece of land.
“Currently it is 15 meters, but people are struggling to even respect this, if the government is extending it to 40 meters it should really engage the public leaders so that this is not misunderstood,” he said.