Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina. (Photo: Wilberforce Okwiri/Standard)
The contractor who will construct phase 2A of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is ready to start work.
The Government has however raised concern about the high cost of acquisition of land along the corridor which will link up the Nairobi South Railway Station to Naivasha Industrial Park in Enosupukia.
The Government will spend Sh15 billion to compensate people living along the upcoming line, something Kenya Railways Managing Director Atanas Maina says is unsustainable.
“There is a worrying trend of the expenses associated with land compensation for development of public infrastructure,” he said.
“This is a discussion that Kenyans need to have since it is costing the Government too much money even before the contract can be implemented thereby making the development very expensive and unsustainable in the long term,” he said.
Phase 2A of the SGR line runs across parts of Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu, Nakuru and Narok counties and covers 120km. It will follow the escarpment to Mai Mahiu, cross road B33, pass south of Mount Longonot to Naivasha.
The route starts from the west end of the Nairobi South Hub (end point of the Mombasa – Nairobi SGR). It then turns south-westwards through the Nairobi National Park and west past Twala and Ongata Rongai towns.
The line will then cross the Magadi Road next to the Adventists University and Ngong Road at Embulbul.
It then descends into Rift Valley through a tunnel located North-West of Ngong Hills and proceeds North-West to the proposed Industrial Parks at Mai Mahiu and Suswa where it crosses B3 at Duka Moja.
For this section of the project, the length of the sub-grade will be 87.98km, (73.3 per cent of the total length), the bridge works 23.96km long (20 per cent) and tunnels 7.756km (6.7 per cent).
Once complete, it will link the port of Mombasa to the Naivasha Industrial Park which will have a dry port.
Mr Maina said the Government has already informed the families who will be affected by the passage of the railway.
“…sensitisation of the affected communities is ongoing and the Relocation Action Plan is under preparation after which land compensation will begin,” he said.
Sh63b Standard Gauge Railway plan stopped
Yesterday, Nakuru governor Kinuthia Mbugua lauded the plan to create a dry port in Naivasha, terming the project timely.
“We fully support the move by the national Government to open a dry port in Naivasha as this will surely see Naivasha and nearby towns develop,” he said.