28 January 2014

Liberia: Illegal Structures Order Removed

Photo: Liberia Government
President Sirleaf and members of her cabinet (file photo):

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has ordered the removal of all illegal structures along the Tubman Boulevard, the ELWA-Roberts International Airport Highway and other major routes within the country.

Mrs. Sirleaf told members of the Legislature Monday during her state of the nation address that the measure is intended to enforce the country's zoning laws and ensure that there are no illegal structures within the right of ways of existing and future road corridors.

"I have also instructed the Minister of Public Works to demolish all structures on Tubman Boulevard that violate pedestrian movement and the zoning laws; those who for personal gains have allowed the de-fencing of our prime corridor will face the blunt of their illegal and corrupt practice," Mrs. Sirleaf said.

She admitted that there has been less than satisfactory progress on the enforcement of the zoning laws here, despite the issuance of hundreds of stop work and removal orders in Monrovia. President Sirleaf said developers and builders continue to ignore the rules of engagement, constructing in areas not approved by the government.

Mrs. Sirleaf told the joint session of the Legislature that the government's new policy initiative will require that all major road infrastructure projects passing through major cities and county capitals must ensure that primary streets in those cities are also paved.

She then announced that the reconstruction and upgrading of the Somalia Drive road will commence next month. With support from the Government of Japan, President Sirleaf said the government has commenced an investigatory survey within communities to identify and lay out the auxiliary alleys and roads along the ELWA to RIA Corridor, to ensure proper zoning, planning and laying out of communities.

Mrs. Sirleaf said the initiative will provide a module action plan template for developing communities, designing and constructing road corridors - thus minimizing the potential for citizens to continue building within the right of ways.

As a means of accelerating the government's road construction program, President Sirleaf added "we will require all concessionaires to deliver on their commitment for road infrastructure as agreed in the individual concession agreements."

She, however, complained that maintaining lateral road remains one of the biggest challenges here, saying the situation is largely necessitated by budgetary and capacity limitation, coupled with the continued abuse and misuse of roads by road users particularly overloaded trucks.

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