By PATRICK MUTHURI
Over Sh18 billion has been spent on road rehabilitation and construction in Meru and Tharaka counties since 2003.
In the current financial year, Sh12 billion has been allocated to the region for the same purpose.
Over the last ten years, the region has experienced a major transformation in the transport sector, with once potholed roads being recarpeted and new ones constructed to link Meru to neighbouring counties.
Some of the new roads constructed under the Kibaki Government include Ruiri-Isiolo and Muriri-Isiolo roads at a cost of Sh2.99 billion, opening up the miraa rich Igembe and Tigania areas to Isiolo, one of the largest miraa markets.
The new Ruiri-Isiolo route has become popular with express matatu operators since it has shortened the distance from Meru town to Isiolo.
In the past, drivers had to scale the hilly route towards Nanyuki. Construction of the Meru-Mikinduri road at a cost of Sh1.8 billion ended the transport nightmare between Meru town and Mikinduri.
Residents of Mikinduri and its environs dreaded using the road during rainy seasons, but not any longer, thanks to the tarmac.
Carpeting of Phase Two of the road that runs from Mikinduri in Tigania East to link up with Maua town is ongoing and is expected to cost the Exchequer Sh1.72 billion once complete.
While inspecting the construction of Marimba-Mitunguu-Nkubu and Meru-Githongo-Kionyo-Kinoro-Chogoria roads, the Minister for Roads, Franklin Bett said the two would cost Sh3.2 billion and Sh3.5 billion respectively.
The road has ended years of suffering for the residents of parts of Central Imenti who spent long hours on the stretch. It is also expected to serve the tea-growing areas.
“The Meru-Mitunguu road is 94 per cent complete and should be opened soon while the Chogoria-Kionyo road will be ready by June. I urge all the contractors to ensure they do a good job and meet deadlines,” Mr Bett said during a two-day visit recently.
The minister also opened Ena-Ishiara-Ciakariga road that cost Sh3.5 billion and brought the first stretch of tarmac in Tharaka constituency.
Tharaka MP Mburi Muiru, who accompanied the minister during the opening of road lauded the Government for bringing tarmac roads to Tharaka for the first time.
Tarmac wonder reaches TharakaUpdated Friday, May 4th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3
By PATRICK MUTHURI
Chuka-Igambang’ombe MP Muthomi Njuki has disassociated himself from demands by his fellow MPs for a salary increment.
A top Anti-Banking Fraud Unit officer and a senior city cop have been linked to the thriving pornography business in Nairobi.