Economy

Ngara landowners to get billions in bus terminus construction plan

globe rounda

An aerial view of the area around Globe roundabout in downtown Nairobi. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The State is expected to shell out billions of shillings to owners of land and property around Nairobi’s Ngara area where it plans to construct a new public transport terminal.

The construction is expected to be near the popular Globe Roundabout that is also served by an overpass.

In a gazette notice dated Friday, May 31, National Land Commission (NLC) chairman Gershom Otachi said the planned acquisition would affect five major landowners whose prime land measures about three acres.

“In pursuance of sections 112 and 162(2) of Land Act (No. 6 of 2012), the NLC on behalf of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) gives notice that the national government intends to acquire the following parcels of land required for the construction of the Globe Roundabout Public Transport Terminal,” said Mr Otachi in the gazette notice.

The official said the Kenya International Hotel, famously known as Kahama is among the property that will be acquired. The hotel is owned by billionaire businessman James Mwangi Kirung’o, alias Kahama.

Part of the land in the Grogan area in downtown Nairobi that was the subject of a long-running ownership tussle between mechanics and the management of the Jamia Mosque will also be acquired. The latter prevailed after long-running court battles.

The new Globe Roundabout Terminus is part of the ongoing plans to relocate public service vehicles (PSVs) from the CBD.

In a bid to ease traffic to and from the city and around the city, the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) is building several termini outside of the Nairobi CBD set to be used in the relocation plan.

Test runs for the Green Park terminus, which is the drop-off and pick-up point for matatus plying Ngong Road and Lang’ata Road routes, have been going on in readiness for launch.

The others are Muthurwa, Fig Tree, Desai, Park Road, Workshop Road, and another on Bunyala Road.

NMS also plans to spend Sh1.47 billion on building walkways and bicycle lanes in its non-motorised transport programme that seeks to encourage walking and cycling.

This follows the construction of pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes on Kenyatta Avenue, Wabera, and Muindu Mbingu streets in Nairobi’s city centre.

Besides the non-motorised transport corridors, NMS is banking on bus rapid transit as last-mile connectors in its bid to decongest the CBD.

The strategy is part of the mass rapid transport (MRT) plan that also includes commuter rail service to solve perennial congestion in the capital city.

Last September, NMS Director-General Mohamed Badi announced that public service vehicles would be relocated from the city centre to termini outside the CBD. Construction of the alternative termini is in various stages.

According to the plan, matatus plying Ngong and Lang’ata roads will terminate their journey at the Green Park Bus Terminus, popularly known as Railways Club.

Long-distance PSVs from Mount Kenya region and those from the Thika Superhighway, which have been terminating at Tea Room on Accra Road, would drop and pick up passengers on Desai and Park roads termini in Ngara.

On the other hand, the Muthurwa terminus is expected to remain and serve PSVs from Jogoo and Lusaka roads.

The NMS has also embarked on creating infrastructure for non-motorised transport to enable safe walking and cycling for residents who would want to walk from the termini outside the city centre.

Already, the implementation of non-motorised transport corridors in the city centre has kicked off with Kenyatta Avenue, Wabera, and Muindi Mbingu streets having pedestrian and cycle paths.

Kenyatta Avenue non-motorised transport will be connected to the new Ngong Road, which already has a similar corridor. The other side of Kenyatta Avenue will be linked to Moi Avenue, which will further connect to Railway Station where construction of both cycle and footpaths is already at the roundabout of Haile Selassie and Moi avenues.

On Haile Selassie Avenue, the non-motorised transport will connect to Jogoo Road through Landhies Road. Jogoo Road already has non-motorised transport that terminates at the roundabout near City Stadium.