Kenya Railway’s Sh28 billion city project on course

Friday, April 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Traffic jams in Nairobi CBD are expected to ease once the projects by Kenya Railways are completed. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

About 172 hectares of land have been gazetted as a first step towards implementation of the Sh27.9 billion Nairobi Railway Station City Project.

The gazettement in effect prohibits any other development in the area bound by Haile Selassie Avenue, Uhuru Highway, Bunyala Road, Commercial Street and Landhies Road, to pave way for the Railway City project.

Encroachment on railway land had threatened implementation of the project before Kenya Railways (KR) in February this year started reclaiming grabbed land reserves.

The grabbers include private individuals, businesses and institutions to facilitate the planned construction of the Nairobi mass transit railway.

Newly appointed Kenya Railways Managing Director Philip Mainga ordered people who have encroached on railway reserve land within Nairobi and its environs to give way for implementation of the Nairobi Railway master plan.

He said demolition of illegal structures is underway, targeting prime parcels of land within Nairobi metropolitan areas, which that have been identified for use in the rail master plan. 

“As per the notice issued on September, 2019, we inform members of the public that reclamation of illegally acquired railway land and property (houses) is currently ongoing,” he said.

Illegal title deeds 

In the master plan, Kenya Railways proposes to redesign and construct a massive transport hub on part of the 273- acre railway headquarters land as well as flyover links to major roads across Nairobi.

The recovered land will mainly be used in construction of the required flyovers.

The Kenya Railways MD also put on notice any holders of “illegal” title deeds asking them to surrender the invalid documents for revocation.

He said a whistle-blowers’ alert platform had been set up to enable the public to provide information about land grabbers.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is helping the parastatal to execute the recovery and prosecute the culprits.

The corporation is also in the process of rehabilitating the Thika–Nanyuki railway line, part of the old Metre Gauge Railway (MGR).

The line traverses six counties namely; Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, and Laikipia.

Full implementation of the railway project is expected to take 20 years and is divided into three phases.

Phase One involves developing basic infrastructure (2020-2030) while Phase Two is for activation of the city’s economy (2030-2035).

Finally, Phase Three will allow for spontaneous property development following planning and development guidelines.

Nairobi County Lands and Urban Planning Executive Charles Kerich published the gazette notice last month, issuing a one-year moratorium on development within the 425-acre area, subject to extension.

He said the Railway naster plan will complement Nairobi’s CBD and transform the existing railway station and its environs into a world-class, efficient urban hub. 

The project will be a complementary functional, architectural and urban centerpiece to Nairobi’s growing global reputation.

Kenya Railways proposes to redesign and construct a massive transport hub on part of the 273- acre railway headquarters land as well as flyover links to major roads across Nairobi.

“The committee approved the request for the preparation of a budget to meet part of the cost of preparing the development plan,” said Nairobi county Governor Mike Sonko.

This CBD railway project is closely linked to the implementation of a related master plan, the Embakasi Station Area Redevelopment Master Plan around Syokimau Railway Station.

This project  presents an opportunity for the zone to be transformed into a business hub and a gateway to the city of Nairobi.

Airport city

A major aim of the Syokimau Airport City plan is to ease the dreaded traffic jams along Mombasa road.

A direct road bridge link will connect the SGR terminus with the airport while residential area are disconnected from the main road network or separated by green buffer zones to enhance life quality.

Location for the proposed city is divided into two zones that comprise the broader area and core area measuring 10,500 hectares and 1,500 hectares respectively.

According to the Permanent Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Charles Hinga Mwaura, the establishment of The Airport City will be undertaken under the Embakasi Railway Station Area Redevelopment master plan.

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