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21.12.2007 General News

President Kufuor Calls On Encroachers Of Railway Lands To Re-locate


Inauguration Of The Golden Jubilee Line at Asoprochona, Tema

President John Agyekum Kufuor yesterday asked people illegally occupying lands earmarked for development of the country's rail transportation to re-locate without delay.

Inaugurating the Phase One of the Accra-Tema sub-urban railway services, he said, the activities of the encroachers were thwarting Government's efforts at rehabilitating the railway lines.

He said communities along the railway lines and indeed all Ghanaians should be supportive of the drive towards restoring the railway system to its former vibrancy and glory within the national economy.

This phase of the project, which runs from Accra to Asoprochona cost about 9.2 million dollars to complete and is expected to facilitate the movement of about 4,000 commuters daily between the two Metropolitan areas at a relatively lower cost than road transport.
It also has an added advantage of helping to ease traffic congestion on the roads.
President Kufuor announced that the Government was negotiating with some private investment groups to rehabilitate and extend work on the Eastern and Western rail lines.

Besides, it has set aside an amount of GH 90 million Cedis generated from the floatation of Euro Bonds to get them into good shape. The current development policy with regard to refurbishing and modernising the railway network, he said, was to promote private sector development through public-private partnerships involving Ghanaian investors and credible partners around the world.

Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister for Harbours and Railways, said orders had been placed for the delivery of ultra-modern Diesel Multiple Unit sets with their accompanying trailer cars to ply the restored Accra-Tema line.

Ghana would be the first country in the West African sub-Region to have such modern system. The Minister gave the assurance that Phase Two of the project, which would terminate at the Tema Port, would be completed on schedule by the end of 2008.
President Kufuor later went on a train ride on the rehabilitated line.

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