The Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA) is undertaking the reconstruction of Sekondi-Takoradi via Kojokrom suburban rail network at the cost of about US$ 165,000,000.00. In an interview with The Transporter, Mr Cedric.B Edwards,Deputy Resident Engineer,Takoradi-Sekondi-Suburban railway project, has said Ghana needs efficient rail system for its economic development and that it  requires adequate  funding.

He said, Ghana’s rail sector has a great potential if the government commits funds to the development of the railways to the fringes of the Sahelian region as there is a great deal of cargo to be carted from the northern part of the country, including cargo emanating from the land-locked nations of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger and vice versa .

"The project is to provide a suburban rail service for residence of Kojokrom, Sekondi Takoradi and its environs" , he said. The consultant said the project is a launched pad for the development of the western line from Takoradi to Kumasi and later the eastern line as well. "So far as Technical drawings on the rail lines from Kojokrom up north Kumasi is concerned ,we have made significant progress and we wait on the Ghana government to release funds for the commencement of the project," he said .

Mr. Edwards said the contract was being executed by Amandi Holdings while TEAM Engineering are project consultants and GRDA the clients on behalf of the Ghana government. Throwing more lights on the scope of works, Mr. Edwards said the project consisted of the development of 5.Km single lane from Kojokrom to Sekondi , 10.Km from Kojokrom to Takoradi, ultra modern terminals at Kojokrom, Sekondi and Takoradi, four Halt stations to receive passengers, one on Kojokrom - Sekondi line and three on Kojo- krom -Takoradi Line.

The consultant said, the project started in 2012 and would be completed and handed over to the GRDA by the middle of this year (2016). According to the consultant, the lines are being constructed with local ballast stones with imported concrete sleepers and rails.

He, however, said when the green light was given by the Ghana Government for the commencement of the Western Line from Takoradi to Kumasi, it would then be prudent to establish a plant locally to produce the concrete sleepers to feed the industry.

Asked as to whether the project team had problems in the course of the execution of the project, he said a major problem was the location of utility lines, especially pipe lines carrying water as the Ghana railway was started with Ghana Water some eighty years back and so they encountered a number of burst pipes in the process of excavation to widen the lanes to make way for construction.

’’We had to battle with encroachers as the railway lands had virtually been taken over by illegal developers and so they had to enlist the service of the metropolitan assembly to demolish the buildings to make way for construction to proceed,’’ he said. Mr Edwards said going forward in the redevelopment of the rail network in Ghana, the GRDA would rarely have to use the Sekondi-Takoradi case of land encroachment to secure the lands before commencement of works at sites.

SOURCE: The Transporter News Staff
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