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18.08.2004 General News

Minister inspects Accra-Tema railway lines

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 18, GNA - Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways on Wednesday took a two-and-half hour walk to inspect rehabilitation works being carried out on the Accra-Tema Railway lines.

Prof. Ameyaw-Akumfi accompanied by Journalists and officials of the Ghana Railway Company Limited began their walk from the Aviation House through Dzworwulu, Abelemkpe to the Achimota Taxi rank.

The Minister, who wore a shirt and blue trousers and a hat, walked briskly through the scorching sun to the Achimota taxi rank despite the faeces, rubbish dump and gutters along the railway lines.

Briefing the press after the inspection, the Minister said the Government recognised the role of the railways in transporting people, goods and services to various destinations.

He noted that transportation in the Accra-Tema Metropolis was becoming a major problem hence "the need to rehabilitate the railway lines to augment the services of vehicles on our roads.

"Government is taking steps to see that railway lines in the Metropolis are rehabilitated so that traffic congestion on our roads would ease. It would ensure the swift transportation of people, goods and services from our ports, harbours and the nation's boarders. Rehabilitation of Accra-Tema rail line is estimated at 15 million dollars.

Prof Ameyaw-Akumfi said the Government has secured a five million-dollar loan from OPEC Fund and it was accessing a 10 million dollar from the Government of India and Exim Bank in India.

Out of the 15 million dollars, he said, five million would be used to acquire new diesel engines for shuttles in Accra-Tema and Nsawam while the remaining would be used in replacing rusty steel and tracks and acquire more coaches.

"If the 15 million dollars is accessed and construction of some major bridges were completed, then major rehabilitation and construction would begin," he said.

Mr Michael Adjei Anyetei, Area Civil Engineer, Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL), who took the Minister round said GRCL had begun some construction and rehabilitation work on portion on the railway lines.

He said the Company was packing boulders to form new embankments since most of the railway line had suffered from severe erosion. Mr Anyetei said currently, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development was constructing two culverts between Dzorwulu and Mile One and Mile Two and Mile Seven, off Airport Area and "as soon as these were completed rehabilitation would go on smoothly." He said the GRCL would soon begin demolishing temporary structures built along the railway lines.

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