Kenya says extended Chinese-built railway to be completed on schedule

Source:Xinhua 2019-03-20

  NAIROBI, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Construction of the second phase of the Nairobi-Naivasha standard gauge railway (SGR) has entered the final phase and is expected to be launched on schedule, officials said.

  Philip Mainga, acting managing director of Kenya Railways Corporation said that 80 percent of the 120 kilometers railway project whose implementation started in October 2016 has been completed.

  "We have made substantial progress in the construction of phase 2A of the SGR and so far we have laid track on an 86 kilometers stretch. We expect the project to be complete by June this year," Mainga said on Monday during a tour of the project.

  He spoke to reporters during an inspection tour of phase 2A of the SGR that is being implemented by China Communications Construction Company and is part of the proposed Mombasa-Nairobi-Malaba standard gauge railway project.

  Mainga said major civil works on SGR phase 2A project like construction of a six kilometer super bridge along Nairobi National Park, tunnels and culverts have been completed.

  "The final phase will involve fencing and installation of signal system. We are also building five intermediate stations and 90 percent of civil works has been accomplished," said Mainga.

  He said the contractor of SGR phase 2A has adhered to international best practices to ensure that natural habitats are protected during its implementation.

  "The six kilometers bridge across Nairobi National Park that is fitted with noise deflectors will ensure there is no conflict with wild animals," said Mainga.

  He said the anticipated benefits upon completion of phase 2A of SGR includes faster movement of passengers and cargo to the hinterland, establishment of industrial parks, job creation and growth of businesses along its corridor.

  Maxwell Mengich, general manager in charge of infrastructure development at Kenya Railways Corporation said that operationalization of phase 2A of the SGR project is expected to create new jobs for skilled youth besides attracting investments in critical sectors like tourism, agriculture and manufacturing.

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