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Ngong, Ongata Rongai set to get SGR stations

Ngong and Ongata Rongai are set to have stations under the 120km Nairobi-Naivasha standard gauge railway (SGR) line as the two areas grow to key economic hubs.

They have over the last two decades emerged as key satellite towns of Nairobi with sizable residential settlement and businesses.

The two stations will be among 12 that will be built along the 120km Nairobi-Naivasha stretch that was launched last month.

“The SGR will include a total of 12 railway stations including five in Kajiado County, one in Kiambu County, two in Nakuru County and three in Narok County,” the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the project says.

ECONOMIC STRONGHOLDS

“Along the railway line, the main economic strongholds and areas with a large railway handling volume and use for passenger service are provided with intermediate stations.”

Besides Ngong and Ongata Rongai, other stations that will handle passengers and freight will be located at Kamangu area (Kiambu County), Mai-Mahiu (Nakuru County), Suswa and Enoospukia in Narok County where the rail will terminate.

It is expected that the SGR will spur economic development especially around the stations placing the 12 areas selected in a good position for establishment of businesses.

Works on the Sh148 billion Nairobi-Naivasha leg of the SGR are expected to begin by March next year once all required approvals are secured.

The EIA submitted to the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) is part of the process for securing approval from the regulator.

CONSERVATIONISTS

Nema’s decision will be keenly watched as it will decide whether the SGR will go through the Nairobi National Park, a proposal strongly opposed by conservationists.

The seven route options contained in the EIA report all go through the park with the State not providing an alternative course as demanded by conservationists.

Kenya Railways has proposed to build a 6.7km super bridge over the park in what it says will eliminate any conflict with the animals.