The Minister for Railway Development, John Peter Amewu, has said government has taken steps to revamp the railway sector, to improve transportation in the country.
He said the Ministry of Finance has approved the construction of the standard gauge on the theAccra-Nsawam railway and an Indian company would soon begin work on the project.
Mr Amewu indicated that the Accra-Nsawam route had not been opened, due to challenges.
He said “Becauseit is an old line is not very safe that is why we want to do the rehabilitation but I’m sure by the first quarter of this year work would be completed on the line”.
Mr Amewu disclosed these in an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of the inauguration of the governing board of the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL), in Accra, yesterday.
The ten-member board is chaired by Daniel Kwame Adzogble, with Togbe Adzimah, Mr Buthelezi Wilson Kwashie Akakpo, Dr Samuel Kpapitey Ekow Azu, Mr Adjie Kwasi Boateng, Mr Joseph Appiah Boateng, Obrempong Hima Dekyi XIV, Togbega Tsedze Atakora VII, Dr Nuworza Kugbey and Acting Managing Director of GRCL, Lord Laud Quansah, as members.
The railway services on the Accra Nsawam route was suspended a couple of years for repair works, and the minister said plans were far advanced to construct the Accra-Nsawam to a standard gauge.
“The attention is on the new line which is a standard gauge we want to construct, to make it more robust and increase the number of passengers,” Mr Amewu, said.
He said the government had invested at least $1 billion dollars in the past five years on the rail sector in a bid to revamp the sector.
The minister said government has also pumped at least 500 million Euros into the Manso to Huni Valley rail line project and about $480 million dollars invested in the Tema Mpakadan line.
“Government is currently signing another $500 million contract to construct a rail line to link Obuasi and Dunkwa Township,” Mr Amewu, said.
He said the rail transport would reduce pressure on the road and facilitate transport in the country.
“The President has decided to place more attention on the railway infrastructure within the country and the whole of the Western Line will be constructed by the end of the year. As you can see the expenditure and the quantum of monies that were put in the infrastructure during the first term of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is more than any other government,” Mr Amewu said.