Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey has argued that the Akufo-Addo led government is committed to building a vibrant railway sector that will drive industrialization and economic growth.
According to Mr. Ghartey, investments and other commitments taken so far by government is geared towards building a solid foundation that would spur further advancement for the railway sector.
Addressing the media during an inspection visit at the railway training school in Essikado, Joe Ghartey pointed out that the rehabilitation of the rail sector comes with a vision of making it independent of government’s support.
“We should expect that a solid foundation is laid for the railway sector, to enable it take off a stand on its feet.
“If you have sector which will inject $20 billion and you don’t have the manpower to maintain it, then what have you done? I think that what will become clear to the people of Ghana, not even by 2020, is that we are laying a strong foundation which will enable the country leaf into the future based on a platform of railways” he emphasised.
Currently the railway training school which would serve as a technical university is completed. Major renovation works have been undertaken at the locomotive workshop in “Location”, Essikado of the Western Region.
The Locomotive workshop has seven sheds; New Diesel Shop, Boiler shop, Blacksmith and T.M.R shop, Erecting shop, Machine shop and tools room, Tender, Brass and Brass Foundry, and a Mill Wright Shop and Iron Foundry, each with a specific design and machinery to support the renovation and repairs of locomotives for the railway company limited.
Government through the Ministry of Railway Development awarded a contract to Rolider Ghana Company Limited to renovate the locomotive shop and training school; a work that has attain a tremendous feat.
Two of these sheds; the New Diesel and Boiler shops, have been renovated and stocked to standard.
Plans are underway to get the remaining sheds completed soon, Joe Ghartey assured.
“We’ve come here with officials of the Ghana Railway Development Authority and Ghana Railway Company Limited, to find out whether they are pleased with the work that they’ve done, whether they believe there’s value for money, and if they think that we should continue with outstanding work” he explained.
Construction of 1.6 kilometer drain
Learning from a history of perennial floods that hit the entire railway training school and the workshop, the Ghana Railway Company Limited has incorporated into the scope of work for the renovation of the facility by Rolider, the construction of a 1.6 kilometer concrete drain that runs from through the training school to Borbokrom of the Essikado Ketan Constituency.
Project Engineer for Rolider Ghana Limited, Zaldy Casol explains that the drain shall have a base length of about 3 meters and a height of 6 meters, so as to contain huge volumes of rain water. He added that works on that drain is expected to be completed by March next year.
Director, Regulations and Assurance of the Ghana Railways Development Authority, Lord Quansah recounted that the company has in years had to abandon work at the workshop any time it rains.
With the construction of this drain, the facility is guaranteed of some security from these floods.
It shall also protect adjourning communities, such as Bakado and Borbokrom from these perennial floods.
Compiled by Ruth Abla Adjorlolo