Leaders lobby for SGR extension to Nakuru

 Past construction works of the standard gauge railway. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Past construction works of the standard gauge railway. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

A section of political leaders have embarked on a bid to ensure that phase 2 of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line is extended to Nakuru Town as it eyes city status.

The lawmakers - David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) Charity Kathambi (Njoro) and Samuel Arama (Nakuru Town West) - are campaigning to have a bite of the railway due to its apparent economic benefits.

“Nakuru town will greatly benefit from the SGR extension. It will help revive some of the collapsed industries and bolster the town’s economic status,” said Mr Gikaria.

The sentiments were echoed by Njoro MP Ms Kathambi who said the rail's presence will boost business growth.

Mr Gikaria on Monday said they are planning to meet other leaders from the region including Governor Lee Kinyanjui to deliberate on the matter.

“We cannot have Nakuru town left out of this major development,” added Mr Gikaria.

Re-design rail

The local business community, led by former Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Kamau Njuguna, is also upbeat that the multibillion shilling railway project will spur the economies of Nakuru and Naivasha towns.

“I am not opposed to the routing of the SGR, but my humble appeal is for the engineers doing design works to re-look the proposed route and see whether it can be redesigned to accommodate the two towns,” said Mr Njuguna in an interview.

He is optimistic that the move will boost tourism and other hospitality sectors in Nakuru and Naivasha.

According to the current routing plan, the railway will follow the escarpment to Mai Mahiu, cross road B33, pass south of Mount Longonot and end in Naivasha.

There will be another phase of 262 kilometres from Naivasha to Kisumu through Narok, Bomet and Sondu.

The government also plans to set up industrial parks along the route of the standard gauge railway.