NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – The government has denied a news report that it has cancelled the construction of Phase 2 A of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) which starts from Nairobi to Naivasha.
Clarifying the matter, Transport Principal Secretary Irungu Nyakera said what the government halted was some of the works which were supposed to start after the commissioning and not before, according to the tender.
He says the ground breaking is expected to take on September 26, led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and legally, no works should begin before that.
“I think I was misquoted on that. I would say they we’re preparing where the President will be launching it, and they had started the tunnelling because we will be creating a 5.4 kilometre tunnel. So that is the work we have said that it should only start after the launch. They can only prepare the site for the launch but then no work should start because I think things have to be done in the right way,” Nyakera explained in an interview with Capital FM News in his office on Tuesday.
He says with halting of the works before the launch, does not mean the tender has been cancelled assuring the public that the actual construction should begin after September 26.
The Transport Ministry only learnt of the issue last week after reports that some of the workers had been attacked by the locals at Duka Moja in Narok.
The PS however says the all is set for construction to begin as the final process of routing will be complete by next week.
“Once we finalise the routing, and only then will we finalise the necessary procedures in acquiring any remaining regulatory approval. Then we can break ground on 26 September,” the PS said.
The Nairobi-Naivasha route is still being undertaken by China Road and Bridge Corporation at a cost of Sh105billion and being financed by China EXIM Bank, a financing agreement signed in December last year.
“This contact is what you call an EPC contract, (Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract), meaning that the contractor takes care of the feasibility studies, the design and the construction,’ Nyakera said.
The construction on the Phase 1 from Mombasa to Nairobi is now at 80 percent to completion which is costing the state over Sh300billion. It is expected to be done by the end of this year.