Government has started compensating people and companies that have been affected by the prospective construction of the Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay Road.
About K226 579 622 was budgeted for the compensation exercise to cater for 86 people, telecommunication structures, water supply and Escom facilities along the proposed corridor.
Initially, the road was expected to be ready by early 2014.
Traditional Authority (T/A) Timbiri, whose subjects are among the affected people,on Wednesday confirmed that the compensation exercise had started.
Acting Senior Chief Kabunduli also said some people in his area communicated to him about the compensation.
However Timbiri said people were not sure of the criteria used to assess property. He said people are just getting money for the property without knowing how the figures were arrived at.
Roads Authority (RA) public relations officer Portia Kajanga said the number of affected people and company structures have not changed.
However, she said it would not be strange to hear of numbers swelling as some people could not have been around during the time of assessment.
On the impact of the diversion, she said the matter will have to be handled by the contractor who is yet to be identified.
Kajanga said RA is hopeful that by May 2015 a contractor should be on site. She said currently RA is working on tender documents which will be launched in February 2015.
She said progress is being made and the process is in line with the procurement plan being followed
Nkhata Bay Central Member of Parliament Ralph Mhone said the delay of the road has affected many projects in the district and the current state of the road is a threat to people’s lives and businesses as bridges get washed away by rains.