General News of Thursday, 2 March 2017
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, has outlined government’s intended projects aimed at revamping the railway sector. Key among these projects, is the completion of the railway lines along the Sekondi to Takoradi via the Kojokrom section.
This according to government, “will help improve the operational performance and revenue of Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) and enable the Company wean itself from Government support.” “In addition, it will enhance the performance and competitiveness of the manganese mine located on the corridor.”
The Minister also revealed that “work will commence on the Western Line which starts from Takoradi and terminates at Kumasi, having two branch lines namely; Dunkwa to Awaso and Kojokrom to Sekondi, covering a distance of 340km.” He said the “corridor when completed, will facilitate the haulage of manganese, bauxite, cocoa and other bulk commodities.”
According to him, government has initiated “discussion to secure funding for other major projects, such as, the Central Spine which stretches from Kumasi to Paga covering a distance of 700km.” The sections are Kumasi to Buipe and Buipe to Paga.
Eastern Railway Line
The Minister revealed that, the Eastern Railway line will “cover a distance of 330km and starts from Accra to Kumasi with a branch line from Achimota to Tema.”
According to him, “when the line becomes operational, it will decongest the port and facilitate the movement of cargo and passengers to Kumasi and its environs. In 2017, the feasibility studies will be finalised and invite proposals from the private sector.”
Central Railway Line
The Central Railway Line on the other hand will according to the Minister, “cover a distance of 200km and spans from Kotoku on the Eastern Line to Huni Valley on the Western Line. It will have a branch line from Achiase to Kade and we plan to undertake feasibility study on the line and extend it to Kibi.”
Railway is a catalyst for growth
The Minister explained that government’s plans for the railway sector is hinged on the belief that “rail will be a major catalyst to drive the growth that we envisage in the coming years.” “Rail transportation provides safer, cheaper and faster way of moving goods and people to facilitate trade and support economic activity. Our vision is to open up the country and provide new opportunities to our people to do business and trade among themselves. “