THE Road Development Agency (RDA) has bemoaned the high number of illegal structures mushrooming in road reserves along major roads across the country, and has since called on the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to help mitigate the problem.
Speaking after an inspection on the Great East Road (T4) from the airport traffic circle to Chongwe, RDA chief executive officer Kanyuka Mumba noted that there were a high number of illegal structures mushrooming in road reserves across the country.
Mr Mumba said it was saddening that private developers were constructing all manner of structures in road reserves completely oblivious to the provisions of the law on the issue.
Mr Mumba, who was accompanied by a team of RDA directors and engineers, said he was saddened by the development.
He said the agency would find it difficult to carry out future developments and expansion of roads if the infringements in the road reserve were not halted.
The team during their tour discovered that a number of buildings which included market stalls, fuel service stations, houses and farms had all been built within the road reserve along the Great East Road.
He explained that the Public Roads Act no. 12 of 2002 indicated that a strip of land measuring 50 meters form the centre line on either side of the carriageway of a trunk road should be reserved as a road reserve to allow for future expansion of roads.
Mr Mumba noted that although some of the structures were constructed before the Public Roads Act was enacted in 2002, the agency in future needed to carry out major sensitization of the public and stakeholders to avoid potential conflicts related to the future development of roads.
“We are saddened by the high number of illegal structures mushrooming in road reserves along feeder roads across the country. Private developers are constructing all manner of structures in the road reserves completely oblivious of the provisions of the existing laws on road reserves.
‘‘There are a number of buildings which include market stalls, fuel service stations, houses and farms built within the road reserve along the Great East Road. The Public Roads Act no. 12 of 2002 indicates that a strip of land measuring 50 metres form the centre line on either side of the carriageway for a trunk road should be reserved as a road reserve to allow for future expansion of roads,” he said.
Mr Mumba disclosed that the RDA had engaged a consultant called Advanced Mapping and Positioning Limited to carry out an audit of road reserves on Zambia’s trunk roads totaling 3,207 km in order to determine the extent of encroachment