By Nelson Manneh
Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) Gambia, Department of Physical Planning, Department of Lands and Surveys and the National Roads Authority have on Friday 19th February 2021 commenced property assessment and/or evaluation exercise along the Bertil Harding Highway and other identified roads across the Grater Banjul Area.
The objective of the assessment exercise is to identify properties that will be affected by the road construction project and acquire more information relating to land ownership to ensure the proper expropriation process is followed.
Bartil Haring Highway is one of the roads identified by OIC Gambia to be expanded to forty meters wide, two lanes on both sides while the other identified roads in the urban area will be fourteen to seventeen (14-17) meters wide respectively.
Nfally Fadera, head of communication at the OIC Gambia secretarial, said the exercise is meant for OIC Gambia and its partners to map out the identified roads and to identify some of the properties that might be affected during the implementation of the project.
“We have officers from different government institutions who are our partners in the process. They will help OIC Gambia in the evaluation of the properties that will be affected,” he said.
Kebba Trawally, an officer from the National Roads Authority (NRA), said roads like the Bertil Harding Highway need to be expanded because it is among the roads that are mostly used in the country.
“We want to increase the capacity of the road and in doing so, there must be properties that will be affected along the highway,” he said.
The NRA officer said any property that is affected will be demolished, evaluated and the owner of the property will be notified and compensated if necessary.
“There are some people who encroached to the space that was reserved beside the main highway, those people may not be compensated,” he said.
The NRA officer said those affected will be urged to issue relevant documents to establish ownership and if the property owners need to be compensated, they will evaluate the affected property and compensate the individual.
During the assessment process, OIC Gambia partners were seen issuing notice letters to some of the owners of the properties that are affected.