Nairobi, KENYA: Kenya Railway managing director Atanas Maina has said that 98% of Mombasa Nairobi Standard gauge railway is complete.
In a media briefing at his office in Nairobi on Friday, Maina said that following the completion of the first phase of the project ,his team will start trial operations from June 2017 to make sure that systems are working properly.
Maina said that the construction of the second phase of the railway which covers Nairobi and Kisumu will commence January next year.
He downplayed allegations by some conservationists that the corporation is not handling the environmental issues meticulously, which might be detrimental to the environment saying that talks are ongoing to iron out pending issues.
“We made provisions for wildlife passages in Tsavo national park which makes it possible for wild animals to cross freely .evidence is already in place showing that they are using those corridors ,the bridge itself is a mitigation measure.”Maina said.
He indicated the other pending issues are being sought by national environmental management authority and there will be pre and post monitoring mechanisms during construction to give the project clean bill of health.
He added that sh. 30 billion will be used for compensation whereby sh.14 billion has already been paid land owners as compensation.
The whole project will cost 10 .5 billion US dollars.