Handshake Fruits? Hundreds Of Millions Set Aside For Extension Of Railway Line Into Western.
Handshake Fruits? Hundreds Of Millions Set Aside For Kisumu – Butere Railway Line.
Parliament has allocated Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Sh300 million to complete rehabilitation works on the Kisumu-Butere line.
The Finance and National Planning Committee reallocated the Treasury’s vote as contained in the Supplementary Budget to secure the money for the completion of works on the metre-gauge railway line (MGR).
“The committee recommends the following reallocations – National Treasury: rehabilitation of the Kisumu-Butere rail: addition of Sh300 million,” the committee said in a report on the scrutiny of the Supplementary Budget I for the financial year 2021/22.
The committee chaired by Homa Bay Women Representative Gladys Wanga has also allocated an additional Sh200 million for the construction of Naivasha Inland Container Depot (ICD).
The corporation early this month announced that rehabilitation works that began in September 2021 are 90 percent complete. KRC plans to have the first train carrying both passengers and cargo on the line in June.
The Kisumu-Butere railway line is an extension of the MGR that was revamped from Nakuru to Kisumu.
The line snakes through Kisian, Lela, Maseno, Luanda, Yala, and Namasoli trading centres.
The Nakuru-Kisumu line was refurbished to ensure seamless cargo and passenger transport from the Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha standard gauge railway (SGR).
The refurbished line once complete is expected to ease the movement of passengers and cargo from Mombasa to Butere.
The MGR provides an interconnection between SGR and MGR at Naivasha. This allows seamless movement of cargo from Mombasa to the East African region without having to transport it on road.
Early last month, Kenya Railways revealed that it has bought seven passenger locomotives from China to be used between Nairobi and Kisumu and extend commuter services to Butere.
The locomotives will come as a boost to the recently rehabilitated metre gauge railway that has seen Kenya Railways introduce train to Kisumu once weekly.
Kenya railways regional manager for Kisumu Michael Disi announced that there has been an increase in demand by passengers on the route, hence the need to increase the frequencies.
The train has so far ferried over 2,000 passengers since it started operations last year in December.