The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) backed by the Murang’a County security team has closed four quarries which were operating near the Thika-Sagana railway line.
The quarries established at a land belonging to Delmonte Company ltd were said to be putting the recently rehabilitated railway line at risk of collapsing.
Murang’a County Commissioner Karuku Ngumo says unscrupulous business people invaded the land and started mining construction stones without the required documents.
The owner of the quarries, Ngumo observed they moved the land without any authority saying apart from posing risk to the railway line, they have been causing conflict with the fruit processing company.
“Members of the county security team with representatives from other government agencies have witnessed the closing of the quarries which have been operating illegally. We warn locals to protect government infrastructure. Railway line reserves must be protected,” added the commissioner.
He further said the rehabilitation of the railway line cost millions of shillings and no one would be allowed to put the line at risk of collapsing.
The county NEMA Officer Kennedy Njau said it was not the first time to close operations of quarries operating near critical infrastructure like railway lines.
He noted the quarries at the Kihui Mwiri area which borders Delmonte land have not complied with government regulations saying the majority lacked licenses to permit them to mine stones.
“Owners of the closed quarries need to get the right documents to allow them to do mining of stones. The quarries near the railway line will be permitted to continue with their businesses,” he said.
Apart from permits from Nema, he said the quarries should have a license from the county government and other authorizations from the Ministry of Mining.
Meanwhile, the County Commissioner warned residents from being defrauded of their money by some people claiming they have acquired part of the land from Delmonte.
He noted that a local land-buying company had illegally established an office in land belonging to the company and had been swindling people of their money purporting to be in a position to sell them pieces of land.
“The security team has witnessed demolishing of some structures by the Delmonte Company, which were established on their land by illegal invaders. A section of Kenyans has been defrauded of their money by a fake land-buying company.
“Some of the victims reported to us and it's unfortunate, those being swindled their money is from counties far from Murang’a. Those who have been conned we request them to make a report to the police station,” he remarked.
It was established that the land-buying company has been charging Ksh 5,000 for registration, another Ksh 50,000 for share capital and a price of a 50 by 100 piece of land selling at more than a million shillings.