According to the public notice issued, Unra is set to conduct a massive operation to clear all encroachers operating in the road reserves across the country effective September 1.
People operating businesses in road reserves, shoulders and road junctions have been asked to vacate within one month or be forced out, the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) has said.
According to the public notice issued yesterday, Unra is set to conduct a massive operation to clear all encroachers operating in the road reserves across the country effective September 1.
“The exercise comes after a sustained period of engagements with the affected persons in order to encourage voluntary compliance…. Some vacated, others still remain operating from the road reserves,” the notice reads in part.
“The exercise will, therefore, target non-compliant persons …… it will continue until when all road reserves have been cleared,” it adds.
In an interview, Unra spokesperson Allan Ssempebwa said it is the authority’s mandate to ensure that road reserves are protected from encroachers for future use in government road projects as well as protecting lives, which are at stake by operating near traffic.
Mr Ssempebwa added that there will be no form of compensation to the encroachers in the road reserves.
He also warned that there shall be no special consideration for people with permanent structures and those operating licensed businesses in road reserves, saying such licences are illegal. He also rallied encroachers such as vendors and tax operators to join fully recognised markets and parks, respectively.
“We have had engagements with local leaders and encroachers to vacate, some have complied while others are still operating in these reserves,” he said.
“During our exercise, we shall not have special consideration for any form of business because even those with licences are still illegal, so people such as vendors should relocate to official markets and tax operators to parks,” Mr Ssempebwa concluded.
The eviction of encroachers, especially in urban areas, often involves running battles with the police as many resist demolishing their structures.
Many road reserves are encroached on by the business community who put up bars, stalls and even houses. This makes it difficult for authorities to expand roads, construct drainage channels and utility lines.
Later, the encroachers claim ownership of the land and demand compensation from government.