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State allocates Sh1.1bn for Mombasa MGR land acquisition

The Principal Secretary of the State Department of Transport, Mohamed Daghar, has announced that the government has allocated Sh1.1 billion for land compensation to facilitate the rehabilitation of the Mombasa Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) to Miritini.

The Sh4.2 billion project that commenced in September 2022 was derailed by land acquisition challenges. The project had stopped at 65 per cent.

The Ministry of Roads and Transport has allocated the budget to the National Land Commission, and the compensation process is expected to start.

“It was supposed to last for 12 months and be completed by August, but unfortunately we had a challenge with land acquisition because of the right way of doing this project,” said PS Daghar.

About 1.4 kilometres had to be acquired, and because of that, my ministry has given the money that was needed through Kenya Railways to the NLC, said Daghar when he inspected the rehabilitation of the MGR line.

When the project is completed, passengers using the Madaraka Express passenger service train and the seven stations along the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) arriving or departing from Mombasa can use the MGR line.

“As a government, we are going to give concession rates to this, and you will be ferried all the way regardless of the time you arrive by train, whether it is early in the morning, afternoon, or evening,” said PS Daghar.

The second part of the project will involve the rehabilitation of the Mombasa Central Railway Station and the setting up of four mini-stations in Changamwe East, Changamwe West, Miritini, and Shimanzi.

This, PS Daghar says, will enhance commuter movement for Mombasa residents, who will have an alternative mode of transport, thus easing pressure on road transport.

“Commuter rail is part of the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT) that the Ministry of Roads and Transport is determined to establish alongside other MRT, including the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT), so that people are moved in a safe and efficient manner and they can save time and other commuter-related costs,” added Daghar.

The PS stated that no entity or person is going to frustrate a government project. This sentiment comes in the wake of a court case by the Mombasa County Government to stop the project over a lack of public participation and county approval.

“There is no instruction from the government or court that warrants frustration if a project has fully complied with the law and the due process has been followed,” said the PS.

By Sadik Hassan

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