Scope of Tema – Akosombo Single Standard Gauge Railway changed

By Yaw
Ansah, GNA

Accra, Oct. 22, GNA – The Ghana Railway
Development Authority (GRDA) has announced a change of scope and name of the
85-kilometre Tema – Akosombo Single Standard Gauge Railway Line Engineering,
Procurement and Construction basis to 97.3 kilometres Single Standard
Gauge Railway Line Tema-Mpakadan. 

The re-alignment that would cost an additional
estimated $ 25 million was necessitated following a physical inspection
and a further feasibility studies showing that
the project, when completed, would pose a threat to the Akosombo dam.

Briefing the media during a working visit to
the site on Monday, Mr Richard Dombo, Chief Executive Officer of the
GRDA said the initial contract signed in 2016 did not have a comprehensive
feasibility study.

“Upon assumption of office and a visit to the
site, we realised that the train lines and the dam were 500 feet. The
dam that has clay as the basics of it foundation would have over a period of
time suffered degradation. The Volta River Authority also raised concerns about
the rail line and all these forced us to effect the necessary change”, he said.

Mr Dombo explained
that government and the implementing partners were negotiating about
the cost involved in the changes and remarked that to build the capacity of
local technical officers, the company had employed Ghanaian nationals on the
projects.

Mr Udai Veer Singh,
General Manger of Afcons Infrastructure limited noted that variation
would include; an additional 65 culverts, 26-road bridges, two rail bridges and
a 300-metre bridge on the Volta Lake

Touching on the progress of the project, he
disclosed that 16 culverts had been completed, seven were in progress, seven
rail bridges had been finished, while two were progressing steadily.

Mr Singh stated that about 56.2
kilometres of formation made up of cut and fill had been done adding that the
change would not affect the completion date of June 2020.

The project, when completed, he said would
include; the construction of rail tracks of standard gauge, railway maintenance
facilities for locomotive and wagons, building of stations at
specific locations with communications and signal equipment and capacity
building for personnel in all aspects of the railway system.

According to the General Manager, the project
would facilitate the transportation of goods from Northern
landlocked neighbouring countries to Tema Port through Multi-modal
transportation and facilitate passenger connectivity between districts.

He said it would also help to re-vitalise the
rail and lake transport systems with consequent social and economic benefits
accruing from both nationally and more specifically within district levels,
reducing transport costs, reducing Environment impacts and improved avenues of
export of natural resources through better transportation facility. 

At the sub-region, the
project, Mr Singh said would improve connectivity
to neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso, Mali, and
Niger 

GNA

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