Governor Mutahi Kahiga yesterday launched the construction of a multi-million matatu and bus terminus on the outskirts of Nyeri town.
The Sh600 million project, which will take two years to complete, is expected to decongest the town’s Central Business District (CBD) that is currently bursting at the seams with both human and vehicular traffic.
The new terminus will be located next to the iconic Asian Quarters Estate where the town’s dumpsite stands.
The dumpsite has been at the centre of controversy between the county government and National Environment Management Authority which wanted it moved.
Part of World Bank-funded Kenya Urban Support Programme, the project will see Nyeri town expanding South-East towards Marua on the Nyeri-Nairobi Highway.
Once complete, the terminus shall alter the landscape of the congested town, with major amenities moving from the CBD to the new location and the entire transport network reorganised.
Mr Mutahi said the project marked a milestone in plans to expand Nyeri town’s CBD and create more spaces for doing business.
The governor said the town’s municipal board is expected to carry out an overhaul of the town’s planning to transform it into a major economic hub.
Housing and Planning CEC Daniel Kwai said the World Bank had already released Sh234 million for the first phase of the project
Once complete, the terminus is expected to accommodate more than 200 matatus and 1,000 business stalls.
Residents travelling within Nyeri will in future board vehicles at the current Nyeri-Nairobi matatu stage.
The current Mathari terminus in the heart of the town will be turned into a public park and shopping mall.
Mechanics, markets traders, hawkers, boda boda operators and transporters currently jostling for space in the town’s CBD will be moved to the new terminus.
Currently, mechanics carry out their business along the streets competing for space with hawkers, lorries, taxis and boda boda operators.
However, the new terminus is causing apprehension among traders who fear they might be locked out of market stalls around it.
Miariro Group Secretary John Mwangi said traders want to be involved in the allocation of stalls within the terminus, warning that failure to do this would cause acrimony.
“We are not happy that public participation (on the construction of the new terminus) took place when decisions had already been made. In future, you need to involve us,” said Mr Mwangi.
During the launch of the project, part of the crowd heckled Rware ward rep Paul Kanyari, forcing the governor to leave the venue in a hurry. He later returned when the crowd calmed down.
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