Landowners along Nairobi’s Outer Ring Road will surrender seven metres of their property to Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) for construction of service lanes and parking lots during ongoing expansion, the National Land Commission (NLC) said on Monday.
The surrender of the required space will be unconditional as it is meant to benefit land owners with business premises along the transport corridor, NLC vice-chairperson Abigael Mbagaya said.
Any landowner who refuses to surrender part of their land will have their access to the highway blocked, Mrs Mbagaya warned, suggesting that property owners could be punished for refusing to give the government free land.
“If they deny the said space, they will have subjected themselves to inconveniences as the authority will close access to the highway by erecting a wall,” she said.
Outer Ring road design comprises service lanes meant to ease a looming traffic congestion crisis as the contractor works on the inner lanes.
Some landowners, whose assets are earmarked for acquisition, have opposed the proposal insisting they are entitled to compensation for any land surrendered.
The owners said theirs is private property they acquired from the National Social Security Fund with the approval of the Land commission.
“We did not take possession of the land irregularly but followed due process. All we are asking for is compensation,” said Elijah Mwangi, a lawyer representing one of the affected.
Ms Mbagaya, however, said that the majority of the affected landowners had changed use of their plots and were accordingly issued with title deeds that came with new conditions. The changes made it mandatory for the landowners to cede seven meters for the highway.
“The titles clearly indicate that the segments earmarked for acquisition cannot be developed under any circumstance,” she said.
The list of properties on the road reserve includes Oil Libya Petrol Station, Safeway Supermarket, Gulf Energy Petrol Station and Jogoo Outer Ring Petrol Station in Donholm.
The properties are located between the Outer Ring Road and the railway reserve land and, according to Kura, are located within the transportation corridor.
“The space was reserved in physical planning for transport utilities owing to location and safety risks posed,” said Abdulahi Yatani, a senior surveyor at Kura.
Last week, the NLC said title deeds found to have been issued irregularly would be revoked to ensure only the holders of genuine title are compensated.
The Sh14 billion Outer Ring Road project, financed by the African Development Bank and the government, will be ready by September 2017, bringing to an end the traffic nightmare in Nairobi’s most populated suburbs.
The 13-kilometre road stretches from the Ruaraka/Thika Road junction to Taj Mall in Embakasi. The project involves construction of two lanes in each direction, service roads, 10 footbridges, non-motorised transport facilities and six interchanges.