Land acquisition, encroachment hamper mega bypass project
Land acquisition has been termed as the main challenge facing the construction of the 16.7 kilometres Nairobi Western bypass which will cost the government a staggering Sh17 billion (US$170,998,693.24.)
Two Cabinet Secretaries Charles Keter (Energy) and Aden Mohammed (East African Community), who toured the project yesterday, were told that the construction of 17.31km service roads is also being hampered by encroachment of road reserves by locals.
According to a brief by the China Road and Bridge Corporation that was contracted by the government in April 2017 to construct the bypass, the Covid-19 pandemic has also affected the programed process of the project.
The bypass which is 46.9 per cent complete falls along the existing Gitaru road towards the Northeast and then turns to the Southeast near Ndenderu town and ends at Two Rivers mall roundabout on the Northern bypass in Ruaka.
“We have been directed by the President to leave our offices, go to the field and ensure that all government projects are progressing accordingly,” said Keter.
Last year Kabete MP Githua Wamacukuru called for fast-tracking of the construction of the bypass in order for businesses to resume in affected shopping centres.
He said that despite the fact that locals are happy with the rehabilitation of the bypass into a dual carriage, most businesses have been negatively affected, thereby denying owners opportunities to earn a living.
Roads, Infrastructure and Housing Principal Secretary Paul Maringa who has been inspecting the progress of the construction regularly, affirmed that the road plan had been slightly redesigned to include a tunnel at Wangige town.
He said that the 2km tunnel will ensure that traffic on the highway will not interfere or impede economic activities, growth and development of the town.
Maringa further said that upgrading of roads would not only ease traffic congestion but also spur economic growth.