Traders conducting business along Nairobi-Nanyuki railway line will be relocated to give way for ongoing rehabilitation works.
Transport and infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Mr. James Macharia has said his ministry will work with affected county government to consider providing other areas for the traders to conduct their businesses.
Following abandonment of the 240-kilometre railway line some decades ago, some people opted to use parts of the line to conduct businesses.
Most sections of the railway taken over by traders include, Mbombo and Kaharati in Murang’a county, Karatina and Chaka markets in Nyeri counties.
Macharia speaking in Murang’a on Friday stated that the government will give time for the business people to relocate so as to give way for rehabilitation works of the railway.
Macharia said the government will provide some funds to facilitate relocation of the businesses as a mitigating effect for those who have been doing businesses along the railway.
Last month when Kenya Railway Corporation issued notice requiring those doing businesses to vacate the railway, those affected raised concerns and vowed not to be moved.
The government had released funds to rehabilitate the railway which is expected to serve northern corridor thus boosting economic growth in Mount Kenya region.
Macharia said after construction of Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi and now Naivasha, the government is trying to rehabilitate connecting lines so as to spur development.
“Sh. 3 billion has been set aside to rehabilitate Nairobi – Nanyuki railway which will connect to SGR and thus bulky and fuel will be transported through the metre gauge railway to parts of Northern Kenya,” added Macharia.
The president, he reiterated, is committed to leave a legacy of elaborate transport infrastructure in the country.
“Rehabilitation of the railway line will go hand in hand with constructing dual carriage from Kenol in Murang’a to Marua in Nyeri County. The dual carriage will further be extended to Isiolo in second phase”, added the CS.
Renovation works of the railway started mid last month and it is expected to proceed for a period of two years.
Already government has released Sh. 1 billion for rehabilitation of the railway line which cuts across five counties within Mount Kenya region.
By Bernard Munyao