Activist Omtata back to court to stop construction of SGR


Activist Omtata back to court to stop construction of SGR

Activist Okiya Omtata now wants the court to reinstate his petition seeking to stop the ongoing Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project.

In his petition, Omtata argues that the government committed perjury on the court and the case should be fixed for a mention within seven days.

The petitioner claims that there is no single procurement for the entire SGR project and no tender was ever issued and awarded for the project as alleged by the respondents.

In the court documents filed Friday, September 30 afternoon, Omtata says that the SGR project was not procured and is being implemented as a single project.

“The Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway project was single sourced,” argues Omtata.

He now wants Phase 2A that covers the Nairobi-Naivasha section, Phase 2B that covers the Naivasha–Kisumu and Phase 2C covering the Kisumu-Malaba portion stopped.

He says the project proponent did not conduct a single feasibility study over the entire length of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Malaba/Kisumu SGR project adding that  they only conducted the study over the Mombasa-Nairobi section (Phase 1) of the SGR Project.

It is Omtata’s submission that NEMA did not issue a single Environment Impact Assessment License over the entire project but only issued a license for the Phases 1 project.

The Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Kenya Railways Corporation, National Treasury and the China Road and Bridge Corporation (Kenya) have been named as respondents.

Last week, National Environmental Tribunal stopped construction of the 150-billion-shillings second phase of Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) until an appeal filed by Omtata and wildlife conservationists is heard and concluded.

Omtata and Kenya Coalition for Wildlife Conservation and Management filed the appeal against National Environment Management Authority (Nema) for failing  to stop the railway project which is currently underway without the benefit of environmental impact assessment licence.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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