Construction of Nairobi-Naivasha SGR 90pc complete

Kenya Railways acting MD Philip Mainga expressed optimism that the rail will be completed ahead of the June deadline.

The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Nairobi-Naivasha Tunnel which begins from Embulbul in Ngong Town Kajiado County which is marked as DK 34+826 on the SGR railway line during a tour on 16th September 2017. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG 

IN SUMMARY

  • Kenya Railways acting MD Philip Mainga expressed optimism that the rail will be completed ahead of the June deadline.
  • The Nairobi-Naivasha line, which will cost the taxpayer Sh150 billion, connects to the recently completed stretch from Mombasa port to Nairobi.
  • The SGR is expected to eventually connect Nairobi to Kampala via Naivasha, Kisumu and Malaba.

Construction of the 120km Nairobi-Naivasha standard gauge railway (SGR) is 90 percent complete, 16 months after work on the project started.

Kenya Railways acting managing director Philip Mainga expressed optimism that the rail will be completed ahead of the June deadline, despite a compensation stalemate along Rongai and Ngong sections.

“Phase 2A of the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR line is 90 per cent done and we are still on course to finish the project by May 31,” said Mr Mainga.

He noted that the corporation is working with the National Land Commission (NLC) to settle outstanding payment claim amounting to Sh7.2 billion by landowners affected by the rail.

“NLC is working out to pay Sh7.2 billion in Rongai and Ngong areas measuring about 5km. We are doing everything possible to see these payment done so that we can finish this project on time,” he said.

The Nairobi-Naivasha line, which will cost the taxpayer Sh150 billion, connects to the recently completed stretch from Mombasa port to Nairobi.

The SGR is expected to eventually connect Nairobi to Kampala via Naivasha, Kisumu and Malaba.

Challenges

Works on the Naivasha line has faced numerous challenges. Last January, construction of the Nairobi-Naivasha SGR line was suspended for three days as workers protest low pay and harsh working conditions.

The more than 800 employees protested at the Satellite section in Mai Mahiu, saying they would only resume work after their grievances were fully addressed.

According to one of the workers who sought anonymity, employees at the site were beeing paid Sh25,000 per month as opposed to Sh35,000 for their colleagues in other sections.

But according to China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) spokesman Steve Zhao, workers are paid salaries based on their skills and position in the company.

“On the issue of staff remuneration, this varies depending on the skills level and position in the company. Nonetheless, we are looking into the claims that there is a disparity in remuneration from one sub-section to the other,” said Mr Zhao then.

The new line will also link the planned Naivasha export processing zone and Ol Karia geothermal fields to the Sh. 327 billion Nairobi-Mombasa railway.

The new rail service will see Kitengela, Ngong, Ongata Rongai in Kajiado County, Kamangu in Kiambu, Suswa in Narok and Mai Mahiu get sub-stations for passenger services.

Source: Business Daily

 

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