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City Hall moves to reclaim ‘grabbed’ parking bays

Nairobi County government Director of Parking Tom Tinega says department targeting more than 50 grabbed parking areas in the central business district (CBD).The total car parking space in the CBD is 14,864, of which 3,941 are on-street parking, representing 26.5 percent of the total. Off-street parking slots are 3,834 while 7,089 are building parking. Some 10,399 of the city’s parking slots are for daily parking (private motorists) and seasonal ticket holders (matatus).

City Hall has stepped up efforts to reclaim “grabbed” public parking bays within the city centre. Nairobi County government Director of Parking Tom Tinega said the department is targeting more than 50 grabbed parking areas in the central business district (CBD).Mr Tinega said three parking bays, including Nyayo House parking opposite Intercontinental Hotel and along Haile Selassie Avenue next to Shell Petrol Station — with a capacity of 200 slots — have been repossessed.He said the parking bay between Nyayo House and Intercontinental Hotel had been grabbed by a private developer who had converted it into a private property. For the one along Haile Selassie Avenue, he said, the grabber had already installed pay machines at the site.“We have started the campaign in the city centre where a number of public parking bays have been grabbed by individuals who have redesigned the parking slots for their own personal benefit. We are targeting other 50 areas.“So far the county government has reclaimed three parking bays in the CBD with over 200 parking slots over the last one month,” added Mr Tinega on Monday.

The county official said the crackdown will be intensified in the next few weeks before before extending outside the CBD, with the aim of repossessing all the grabbed public parking bays across the city.He said the operation is in line with the county’s plan to provide more public parking slots in the city centre, before the introduction of a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system.The BRT system is being planned for rollout in conjunction with the national government, and is aimed at ending the perennial traffic jams in Nairobi.“We want to warn the grabbers that we won’t entertain impunity. Governor Mike Sonko issued a declaration that his administration will not condone land grabbing and that is why we are on with this campaign to ensure we increase the parking slots in Nairobi by reclaiming the grabbed areas,” he said.The total car parking space in the CBD is 14,864, of which 3,941 are on-street parking, representing 26.5 percent of the total. Off-street parking slots are 3,834 while 7,089 are building parking.Some 10,399 of the city’s parking slots are for daily parking (private motorists) and seasonal ticket holders (matatus).In March this year, in its 2018-19 County Fiscal Strategy Paper to improve revenue collection, City Hall promised to reduce daily downtown parking fees to attract motorists who have been avoiding public parking.The reduction was aimed to increase revenue collection and improve services following complaints that the county government was losing millions of shillings in revenue yearly as many motorists prefer cheaper private parking.There have been plans by the county to increase the parking slots to 20,000 to raise revenue from the sector, which has been declining since 2013, to at least Sh3 billion annually.As at December 31 last year, the county had generated only Sh787 million against the annual target of Sh3.5 billion. In 2016/17 financial year, it generated Sh1.97 billion against a target of Sh3.54 billion.

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