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Stakeholder involvement necessary to clear rail line project hurdles

By
Christabel Addo/Julius K. Satsi GNA,

Accra, August 3, GNA –  The feasibility studies on the routes of the
84 – kilometre-Tema -Akosombo Railway Development Project has started.

However, AFCONS Construction, the contractors,
is facing challenges such as, land for expansion, because of encroachment of
the buffer areas and the lack of community ownership of the project.

Mr Richard Diedong Dombo, the Chief Executive
Officer of the Ghana Railway Development Authority,  who announced this, therefore, urged the
various stakeholders to play their roles as leaders in ‘buying’ the communities
and their leaders into supporting and owning the project.

This, he said, 
would help to realise the gains of job creation, along with the general
socio-economic developments from the project, valued at $398 million.    

Mr Dambo, was addressing the maiden
stakeholder consultative workshop on Ghana’s Railway Master Plan and updated
them on the Project.

He said the project would have to pay some
compensation which would only cover 
those whose properties would be legally affected, but these recompenses
packages would vary for individuals and the type of structures affected.  

The three-year project, would be started in
October this year.

Using graphical images to show the aerial view
of the routes, the Chief Executive 
demonstrated  the challenges on
the ground as a result of the  massive
encroachments by the settler communities. 
  

Mr Dambo emphasised, therefore, that the
involvement of key stakeholders in Ghana’s comprehensive rail line development
was very crucial for the successful execution of the project.

He said the broad participation and engagement  would ensure community ownership of such
projects, and also provide a better understanding of the numerous
socio-economic benefits. 

The participants, who  included institutional heads from
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, the Ministries, Departments
and Agencies, the Electricity Company of Ghana, Ghana Grid Company Limited, the
Ghana Police Service among others, were thus to discuss those challenges being
faced by the contractors. 

He said, and urged the various stakeholders to
play their roles as leaders in ‘buying’ the communities and their leaders into
owning the project

Mr Kwaku Agyenim Boateng, the Deputy Minister
of the Ministry of Railway Development, said the project when completed, would
help accelerate the movement of cargo from the Tema Port, which would in turn
improve vessel turnaround time to make the port more competitive.

It was also expected to address the imbalance
between transport modes for long distance transit and domestic freight from the
South to the Northern part of the country, he said.

He said works on the project would include the
building of six rail stations at the Tema Port, Tema Industrial Area, Afienya,
Doryumu and Kodiabe, Kpong and Akosombo, as well as the construction of railway
terminals at Tema and Akosombo.

Operational facilities and loading equipment
would also be provided to ease the pressure on the road networks along the
corridor.

He said the Project which was also dear to the
heart of the President and his government as it would significantly reduce the
cost of transportation of bulk commodities as well as offer an alternative and
cheaper means of transport for passengers who would ply that route.

GNA

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