Land acquisition and compensation hinders phase 2 progress

By Kelvin Ogome

Land acquisition and compensation have been the biggest challenges in the construction of the phase 2A of the Standard Gauge Railway. This is according to the Kenya Railways Cooperation officials who have confirmed that the construction works are almost complete and the line linking Nairobi and Naivasha, will be complete by June this year, slightly past the May deadline.

The May 31st deadline for the completion of phase 2A of the Standard Gauge Railway which commenced in October 2016 may derail as sections of land owners are yet to be compensated before allowing the line to pass through their land.

The National Land Commission NLC is yet to finalize payments to owners of this 5km stretch of land in Rongai before the main contractor of the phase 2A of SGR China Communication Construction Company CCCC is allowed to proceed with the stalled works at this section.

Other sections of the 120km stretch of the railway line linking Nairobi to Suswa are on course even though preliminary reports indicate that the line may not be complete as scheduled.

Unlike the first from Mombasa to Nairobi, the Nairobi- Naivasha line whose construction cost is ksh 150b has been the most complicated phase of the line so far with objection coming in from all sides.

Once complete, the line will serve as a both a commuter railway for residents of Kiambu, Nairobi, Kajiado and Narok counties as well as ferrying cargo and goods between Mombasa and Nakuru counties.

The line will have five intermediate stations for picking and dropping of passengers at Rongai, Ngong, Nachu, Suswa and Mai Mahiu as well as a three tunnels of a total length of 7.5km.

The Ngong tunnel will be stretch for 4.5 kilometers, Kimuka tunnel and the Nachu tunnel in Kiambu stretching for 1.64kms