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22.12.2004 Business & Finance

Metro Transport to extend services to four regions

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Accra, Dec. 22, GNA- The Metro Mass Transit (MMT) Company would be extending its services to the Volta, Eastern, Upper West and Upper East Regions as from next year.

Currently, the company is operating in six regions and plans are underway to extend the operations of the company from the regional capitals to some urban and rural areas when MMT takes delivery of additional buses.

This programme is expected to span a three-year period beginning from 2005 to 2007.

Dr. Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, said this when he took his turn to answer some questions in Parliament on Wednesday. Mr Stephen Amoanor Kwao, NDC-Upper Manya Krobo, had sought to find out from the Minister, what plans the Ministry has to expand the mass transport system to semi-urban and rural areas.

Dr Anane said the Ministry was sourcing for a facility to import 150 DAF/Neoplan buses, which would be used for semi-urban and rural operations.

"The Ministry is also negotiating for an Indian Exim Bank Facility for the importation of 150 Tata buses."

"Meanwhile, the intra-city coverage will continue to expand as more of the intra-city buses arrive," he added.

In answer to a question, the Minister said the contractor working on the reconstruction of the Abuakwa-Bibiani road in the Ashanti Region, was making efforts to complete the project on schedule. He said the contract was awarded to Messrs P.W. Civils JV in May last year at a sum of 188 billion cedis for completion in 24 months. Mr Akwasi Dante-Afriyie, NPP-Atwima Mponua, had asked the Minister when construction of the road as contained in the 2002 President's State of the Nation Address would commence.

Dr Anane said as part of the Road Sector Development Programme, the Ministry obtained a grant from the European Commission for the reconstruction of the road, which was already in existence as a two-lane single carriageway.

"The contractor mobilised to the site on 6th May, 2003 and to date, the progress of work done was 41 per cent..."

"The project is behind schedule due to the contractor's late mobilisation to the site and frequent breakdown of crusher at the quarry.

The Contractor is however, putting in place measures to complete the project on schedule," the Minister said.

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