MAINTENANCE works are being undertaken on the Accra-Nsawam railway line to ensure safety, the Minister of Transport, Dzifa Attivor, has told Parliament.
She said about 1,195 wooden sleepers and 200 steel sleepers had been changed on the railway line this year, at a cost of GH¢65,700.
The minister was responding to a question in the House yesterday, by the Member of Parliament for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, who asked about efforts the ministry enquired was making to revamp the Accra-Nsawam railway line.
Ms Attivor said the ministry had engaged Team Engineering, as consultant, to do the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the Accra-Nsawam section of the line.
“The FEED and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment of the line is nearing completion. This will allow detailed design of the section and prepare it for construction, subject to availability of funds,” she stated.
The Accra-Nsawam railway line forms part of the Eastern Line and the Boankra Inland Port which have been put together as one project. The Eastern line is from Accra to Kumasi, with a branch line to Tema.
Ms. Attivor said the ministry had also engaged Price Waterhouse Coopers as transaction advisers to advise on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) option and to assist in engaging a private sector investor to partner the government for the project.
“The consultant has completed the feasibility study and is putting together the request for proposal for bidding,” she said.
The minister said the development of railway transport was a topmost priority of the government, and assured that railway lines would be developed to facilitate transportation of foodstuff from towns and villages to the markets.
The Member of Parliament of Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah, asked when the request for proposal to select the private sector investor for the PPP was made, but the minister pleaded with the House to give her some time to submit the answer.
She said because of the challenges in financing the project, the timelines had been revised, and added that the private investor would be selected by the end of the first quarter of next year.
“Cabinet has approved the PPP policy and we are working with that document. I am aware that the bill is on its way to this House,” she said.
In another development, the House took the Immigration Service Bill, 2015 through the Consideration Stage.
By Yaw Kyei