Ghana Railway project on course

Government’s avowed plan to construct a rail line from Accra to Paga in the Upper East Region through Kumasi and Tamale is still in full force, the Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, has told parliament.

Answering questions in Parliament posed by National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Garu, Albert Alalzuuga and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, Mr Ghartey, said that the Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese construction company, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) on April 20, 2018 in furtherance of plans to develop the Kumasi to Tamale section of the Central Spine.

He added that the government is taking further steps to attract concessional funding from the Chinese government to fund the Kumasi to Tamale section of the Central Spine.

“The Tamale to Paga section of the Central Spine is being developed as part of the Accra to Ouagadougou Rail Line,” he said, adding that the Accra to Ouagadougou line would continue from where the Accra to Mpakadan Line ends.

He said so far 15 consortia have shown interest in developing the Accra to Ouagadougou line, adding that an advertisement for Expression of Interest was published both in Ghana and Burkina Faso, with 11 consortia being shortlisted to go to the next stage of procurement.

Touching on plans by the government to revamp the Accra-Nsawam, the Minister said that after the unfortunate derailment of the Accra bound train on Monday, October, 2017, the Ministry decided to undertake major rehabilitation works on sections of the Eastern Line, including the Accra-Nsawam railway line.

He said the contract for the rehabilitation of the line was awarded on December, 2017 to the Ghana Railways Company Limited at the cost of GHC15 million to be undertaken in seven months.

He said the contract time had to be extended because the company could not procure the acceptable quality of treated sleepers in Ghana.

He said the Accra-Nsawam contract to the Ghana Railway Company Ltd has led to the employment of 300 young people mostly from the catchment area.

According to the Minister, work on the line is expected to be completed in December, 2018 and the Accra-Nsawam passenger and light rail services expected to be restored before Christmas.

SOURCE: DAILY GUIDE

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