New railway master blueprint: No plan for skytrain! – CEO of GRDA

Ghana has no plans of building a Skytrain, but rather focusing its attention on the Western and Eastern railway lines development for the moment, the Chief Execu­tive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), Mr Yaw Owusu, has stated.

He said it was extremely expen­sive to build skytrain as a kilometre was estimated to cost $20 million within the cities, adding Ghana does not have the resources for such project.

Mr Owusu who conceded though that the skytrain project was mentioned in the budget, made these known in an exclu­sive interview in Kumasi during a stakeholder sensitisation workshop on the new Railway Master Plan on Friday.

As part of government’s agenda to revitalise the railway network, GRDA, under the Ministry of Railway Development, he said had revised the existing master plan which seeks to create an efficient railway network linking all the regional capitals and potential mineral deposits.

Mr Owusu indicated that railway network in the country was less than a percentage of the transport sector, and there was the need to change that narrative and concen­trate on the development of the existing ones.

So far, he said $2billion had been invested in the ongoing projects such as the Tema to Mpakadan, Takoradi port to Nsuta mines to Huni Valley and Obuasi to Kaase to Adum.

The CEO was worried that Ghana could not borrow from the financial global market because her credit rating was low.

“There is money out there, people are willing to give out loans, but our capacity to borrow is limited because we have borrowed so much money to the extent that our debt to domestic gross product is very high in the financial global market,” he said.

He, therefore, called on private investors to partner with the Au­thority to develop railway transport in the country.

The CEO expressed much concern about the manner some individuals had been encroaching on their right of way which was creating lot of difficulties.

On illegal mining activities (galamsey), the Director of Policy, Planning, Research, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Al-Amin Is- Hak Al-Hassan, said it was their greatest headache as the illegal miners had been undermining the very foundation and embankments of the railway lines.

“They are digging so close that erosion is undermining the construction work, they don’t even care when we are around,” he added.

He mentioned that about €28million had been used on diver­sions of the railway lines in areas such as Obuasi and Dunkwa.

Touching on theft and vandalism of railway assets, Mr Al-Hassan called for a railway specific punitive legislation to punish perpetrators, and to stop theft and vandalism of railway assets.

The director stressed that per­sons in possession of assets, be they “thieves or buyers”, should face long jail sentences to deter repeated actions.


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