Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli yesterday laid the foundation stone for expansion of the Dar es Salaam-Chalinze road into an eight-lane highway.
The President also took the opportunity to reiterate his government’s stand that it will not pay any compensation to people whose structures were demolished to pave the way for the project after they were build on the road reserve.
Speaking at the ceremony to lay the foundation stone – which was held at the Kimara Stopover in the city – Dr Magufuli said upgrading of the 19.2-kilometre stretch aims at reducing traffic congestion along what is arguably the busiest highway in the country.
According to the President after completion of the project implementation, there will be specially designated lanes for heavy-duty lorries and other vehicles. This is designed to ease the movement of traffic that includes trucks transporting cargoes to and from Dar es Salaam Port.
Construction work – which started in July this year, and is being implemented at the cost of Sh140.5 billion by a local firm, Estim Construction Co. Ltd – is scheduled to be completed within 24 months.
To that end, the government has already disbursed a total of Sh21.1 billion towards implementation of the project, the President revealed.
Noting that implementation of the project is crucial to the country’s socioeconomic development, President Magufuli said the project is also a good thing for Dar es Salaam, whose current population of around 5 million is estimated to grow to 10 million by 2030. Dar es Salaam is among the five fastest-growing metropolises in Africa.
“Since Dar es Salaam’s population is growing each year it is important for us to implement this project. It is estimated that Dar es Salaam’s population will grow to 10 million people in three years’ time,” the President stressed.
Dr Magufuli ruled out compensating residents whose properties were demolished to pave the way for the implementation of projects on the Morogoro road reserves.
He made that remark after Kibamba MP John Mnyika (Chadema) asked the President to consider requests by people whose properties were demolished along the highway to pave the way for development projects.
“I want to make it clear that no one will be compensated because they breached the law by erecting structures within the road reserve. The law requires that (private) structures are erected outside 121 metres,” the President said.
Dr Magufuli advised Kimara residents not to bother filing a case in court because they don’t stand a chance of winning because the laws are quite clear on this.
Earlier on, Mr Mnyika had asked the President to consider the requests by the residents to be compensated.
“We (Kibamba residents) support government efforts to improve infrastructures, but we also ask the government to compensate the more than 500 residents whose properties were razed to pave the way for the project,” said Mr Mnyika.
Speaking during the ceremony, Tanroads director general Patrick Mfugale said the eight-lane project includes the construction of three bridges and a flyover system in the Kibamba CCM area.
Noting that the Dar es Salaam-Chalinze-Morogoro highway is the main gateway of the country whereby over 70,000 motor vehicles and motorcycles use it every day, Mr Mfugale said the traffic congestion forces road users to spend more than three hours to travel from Ubungo to Kibaha.
After completion of the project, motor vehicles will be able to travel the same distance in less than 30 minutes.