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Encroachers on Railway Land in Gulu, Pakwach Given Six Months to Vacate

URC says that the encroachers have up to March 30 2022, to vacate the areas to pave way for development and revamping the railway transport as planned or risk being evicted forcefully.
Railway crossing in Gulu City

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The Uganda Railway Corporation-URC has ordered encroachers on the railway reserve land in Gulu-Omoro-Nwoya and Pakwach districts to vacate.

Hundreds of illegal settlements and businesses have been established within the URC reserve land since the railway transport in the country was grounded about a century ago.

URC says that the encroachers have up to March 30 2022, to vacate the areas to pave way for development and revamping the railway transport as planned or risk being evicted forcefully.  

William Korotyo, the Uganda Railway Corporation Land Investigation Committee Chairperson that was established by the Works and Transport Minister Gen. Katumba Wamala says that the encroachers had earlier been given a six-month ultimatum to vacate the land.  

The ultimatum elapsed on September 30 2021 but the occupants asked for more time to vacate the land.  

//Cue in: ‘’others have put…   

Cue out: …the railway line.’’//  

Along the stretch between Gulu-Omoro-Nwoya and Pakwach districts, there are hundreds of permanent and temporary structures which are already established on the URC land both for settlements and businesses. 

Ambrose Otieno, the Uganda Railway Corporation Permanent Way Inspector at the Gulu station says that the squatters have been sensitized and notified of the plans to revamp the railway transport and the ultimatum to vacate the land.  

He added that they have met resistance from a section of the squatters who are demanding compensation for their properties while some of them have voluntarily accepted to vacate within the stipulated period.  

He explained that the railway reserve land must be on a 30 by 30 meters’ radius and 100 by 100 meters’ radius from both sides of the railway line for the rural and urban areas respectively. 

//Cue in: ‘’others are not…   

Cue out: …then since 2006.’’// 

Michael Ocaya, the Chairperson for Lacor-Layibi Market in Gulu City which occupies the railway land says that they are willing to vacate the land within the stipulated time.

Luo

//Cue in: ‘’jo me railway… 

Cue out: …cok obibedo pe.’’//  

Bernard Kinyera, the Chairperson of Layibi Railway Market equally says that they have already received the notice adding that they are ready to vacate as soon as possible.

However, Yolanda Olanya a vendor at Layibi Railway Market pleaded with the Uganda Railway Corporation to give them adequate time to acquire land in another area.

Patricia Adwono, the Vice-Chairperson Wang-Lei Village in Pakwach district appealed to those residing on the railway reserve land to vacate to pave ways for development.  

The Uganda Railway Corporation says it has contracted SOGEA Company to undertake the repair and replacement of the damaged railway lines for a possible resumption of railway transport in the country.