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BY NAMULONGO PETER/JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,15TH SEPT 2018-Nairobi county government bulldozers have finally demolished the iconic Airgate Centre, popularly known as Taj Mall in Embakasi ,Nairobi.
Until the time we went on press green excavators were still demolishing the building in an exercise that begun shortly after 6.30 am on Saturday.The multi-million shillings mall is located along the Outering road .
The building is said to have been constructed on riparian land which is the major reason why it is being brought down. It is approximated to be valued at over Sh5 billion.
The business center is among hundreds of such facilities in the country that have now been demolished since the exercise begun in July this year.
On August 17, the multi-sectoral committee on unsafe structures asked tenants to vacate the building by August 30.
The chairman of the committee Moses Nyakiongora said the building will be pulled down because it is on public land.
The government records indicate that the title for the land where the building stands were revoked in September 2015 by the National Land Commission upon establishing that the government had acquired it in 1960.
Once a survey was done in 1966, the then department of physical planning replanned a 60m wide Outering Road vide PDP No13 of 1988 thus increasing the road corridor on Fedha Estate by about seven metres on either side.
And so when Kenya Urban Roads Authority decided to make the busy Outering Road a dual carriageway in 2013, it asked NLC to establish to rule if the building was on a road reserve or not.
In September, the owner of the Mall Ramesh Gorasia said he will not vacate as ordered by the team in charge of demolitions of illegal buildings.
“I’ll not leave or remove anything from the building. Why should I do that? If they want to demolish, let them come and do whatever they want to do,” Gorasia said.
The mall has been in operation with various busineses under it runing since opening its doors on August 1, 2011 .