The government is to rehabilitate the Western rail lines in the wake of the dynamite explosion at Apiatse, near Bogoso.
The works will be awarded on contract by the close of this year, the Minister of Railway Development, Mr John-Peter Amewu, has said, adding that the Apiatse incident highlights the importance of rail transport to the mining sector.
“If the railway lines were in place, some of those explosives would have been transported through them. The government is, therefore, determined to speed up the rehabilitation of the railway lines.
“By the close of this year, the whole of the Western lines will be on contract, which means we can transport freight and passengers from Takoradi in the Western Region to Nyinahini in the Ashanti Region,” he added.
Mr Amewu said this in an interview after inaugurating the 10-member board of the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) in Accra yesterday.
The board is Chaired by Mr Daniel Kwame Adzogble, with Messrs Sylvester Nuklu Ahorklui (Togbe Adzimah V), Buthelezi Wilson Kwashie Akakpo and Kwasi Adjei Boateng and Dr Samuel Kpakpitey Ekow Azu as members.
The rest are Messrs Joseph Appiah Boateng, Obrempong Hima Dekyi XIV, Togbega Francis Afeti Tsedza Atakora VII, Dr Nuworza Kugbey and the Managing Director of the GRCL, Mr Ato Botchey.
Work in progress
Mr Amewu said work on the Tema-Mpakadan rail line was 80 per cent complete, and that the government would soon put trains on that section to convey passengers and goods.
He added that the government was also working around the clock to modernise and bring back the Accra-Nsawam stream.
The minister said the government had so far spent close to €500 million to rehabilitate the railway line from Manso to Huni Valley in the Western Region, about $480 million on the Tema-Mpakadan section and had also projected to spend about $500 million on the Obuasi-Dunkwa section.
Mr Amewu urged the board members to use their diverse expertise and experience to revamp the company and spur it to sustainable growth.
The Board Chairman, Mr Adzogble, expressed appreciation to the government for the privilege to serve the nation.
He said their appointment was a mission and clarion call for them to steer the GRCL to prosperity and growth for the benefit of the country.