Uproar as SGR station remains closed a week after Uhuru launch
A week after President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway from Nairobi to Naivasha; one of the key stations remained closed as residents were barred from using it.
Roads network to Mai Mahiu station in the lake side town remained impassable a situation that has been worsened by the ongoing rains in the area.
A visit to the newly built station found emptiness with only guards manning the area that is located about 20Kms from Mai Mahiu township.
Residents are now calling on the government to rectify the roads situation as that would be the only way the area would be productive.
Addressing the press at the station, a local leader Benson Mungai said passengers willing to travel to Nairobi from the station are referred to Suswa station that incidentally is located 30kms from the rural area.
Mungai termed as a waste of resources for the government to commission a modern station only for officers mandated to work in the area to refer customers elsewhere.
“We saw the train here on Saturday and Sunday and only drops passengers here while those wishing to board it are told to travel all the way to Suswa in Narok county.
He wondered why the government had indicated that the SGR was terminating in Nakuru County yet it had nothing to do with the area as all services had been taken to the neighbouring Narok county”.
“The President disputed reports that this railway was heading to nowhere and said it would assist residents access the capital city with ease but we don’t know what is the meaning of closing this station”, he posed.
His sentiments were echoed by an elder Peter Ngigi who said it had become expensive to travel by train to Nairobi from Mai Mahiu owing to the poor road network.
Ngigi said it was of no economical sense to spend more than Sh 500 to the station only to board the train at Sh 100 and called on the government to expedite rehabilitation of the road to the area.
“You will pay Sh 300 for a motorcycle to take you to the station then you are told to travel all the way to Suswa pay another Sh 250 only to board the train at Sh 100 while a Matatu from Mai mahiu to Nairobi costs Sh 200”.
On her part Freshia Njoki called on the president to help the villages surrounding the station get electricity under the rural electrification program.
“The station has a transformer that can be used to power four villages and as the host community we ought to benefit from government projects near us hence the need for the President’s intervention”, she said.