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Kampala’s Old Taxi Park razed to the ground

Work at the Old Taxi Park has started. PHOTOS KCCA MEDIA

KCCA PLANS
🔵 Register Boda Bodas and Taxis operating in the City
🔵 Creating a digital data base of those operating in the City
🔵 Gazette Parks, stages, routes and stops for taxis and Boda Bodas
🔵 Introduce route numbers and rout colors for all the taxis
🔵 Identification of drivers/riders to include uniforms and badges
🔵 Introduce scheduled Bus services / Boda Boda free Zone within CBD
🔵 Support Boda Boda riders not registered with digital Companies/Associations

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT & URN | Work on rebuilding the Old Taxi park is in high gear, with excavation work ongoing as KCCA is engaging different stakeholders on the future of the transport hub.

In the past two days, dozens of taxi drivers, conductors and other city dwellers surrounded the park gazing as graders excavated the ground in the park and loaded soil on trucks.

While the Ministry for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Affairs is consulting  stakeholder’s including Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda Police Force, the Lord Mayor, The Resident City Commissioner and the Speakers of the Authority among others, it is clear transport in the centre of the city will not be the same.

A draft technical report on how taxi drivers, Boda Boda Riders, owners of Taxi and owners of Motorcycles will operate at the old taxi park is being finalised.

When all is done, the ‘new’ Old Park will have lighting and some waiting sheds for passengers. The park will have designated entry and exit points for both vehicles and pedestrians and will have access control for vehicles to avoid queuing on the surrounding roads and congestion within the Park.

The Park will also have sanitary facilities such as toilets, an administration block and a Police Post.

In case the lockdown ends before the works are completed, KCCA shall provide alternative parking areas for the taxis as was with the construction of the New Taxi Park.

Artistic impression of what the new Old Park will look like. PHOTO KCCA MEDIA

Taxi operators anxious

Meanwhile taxi operators looked on helpless as excavation works kicked off in Old taxi park on Tuesday morning.

By midday, the graders from by Sterling Civil Engineering Ltd and Kiru General Services Ltd had completed excavating the section near Park Enkadde Plaza. Drivers who spoke to URN said they arrived at the park as early as 5am to ensure the excavation doesn’t start without their consent but found the park under tight police guard.

They said they are suspicious that the park could be turned into city bus park or something else. Tonny Mugerwa, who claimed to be a taxi driver said they have been informed that KCCA has finalised plans to eject them from the park. Mugerwa said they had come to ensure the excavation doesn’t start before they engage KCCA but they were overpowered.

“We are now waiting to see what will happen by end of this week. The way they are digging this park worries us. We are not sure whether it will remain a taxi park or it is going to be turned into a building,” Mugerwa said.

Emmanuel Musajja, another driver said they will keep monitoring the situation day and night to ensure no building is erected in the park. He said they will do whatever is within their means to ensure that the park remains for taxis. On Monday, the taxi operators opposed to the development, confronted police and KCCA officials.

Old Park has been cleared. PHOTOS KCCA MEDIA

Yasin Mahoro, who participated in the protest says they had received information that there was a hidden agenda to displace them. Although the taxi drivers said they wouldn’t allow the park to be fenced off, the workers of Sterling Civil Engineering Ltd and Kiru General Services Ltd told URN on condition of anonymity that they will still have to do it.

“We want to stop people walking through this park as they are disorganising our work. We are going to fence it off tonight. We want to finish this work very fast and we can achieve this when we are protected from public disruptions,” one of workers said.

Andrew Kitaka, the KCCA Executive Director, said the scope of work will include excavation and disposal of the existing material, installation of underground drainage line, rock fill and construction of new foundation layers for the carpet.

KCCA said the new carpet will have markings to delineate areas for parking, taxis and pedestrian movement. The authority also said boundaries of the park will be retained to prevent mud from washing onto the carpet as has been the case. KCCA also hopes to improve lighting and some waiting sheds for passengers.

 

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