General News of Wednesday, 16 May 2018
The government will duly compensate landowners whose lands were acquired beyond Shai hills for the construction of the 68km Tema to Akosombo railway project.
The Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey made a comment when he paid a working visit to the overlord of the Manya Krobo Traditional Authority, Nene Sakite the second.
The railway project is going to be a community-based railway development programme.
“let’s not describe it as compensation, lets describe it as acquisition, if you want to build a house, you have to pay the land, under Article 20 of the constitution, where the president is of the view that he needs something in the interest of the public, the president can take steps to acquire the land and then he pays compensation and when the person is not satisfied, he or she can take it to the high court,” he said.
The Minister noted that the project is going to employ the youth of the areas where the railway line will be constructed.
“We have a community-based railway development project, we told the constructors, you need to engage the youth here, it gives them work it also give them ownership,”
Joe Ghartey noted that the project is expected to be finished by March 2020.
Last year the deputy Minister of Railway Development, Kwaku Agyenim Boateng, said that his outfit would work towards ensuring that persons living and working around the proposed Tema-Akosombo railway line will not be significantly affected by the project.
The deputy minister also said his outfit would make sure there is a minimal demolition of houses and machine shops
“As at the last survey from the 9 kilometers, we were looking at over 700 houses and machine shops, but then we have reconsidered the design, and we have come to over 120 houses and machine shops….we want to make sure people benefit, we are doing it because of the people here and they must be considered in the process” he said.
Parliament approves GH¢200m tax waiver for railway lines
The President’s also announced this year that Parliament has approved about 200 million cedis in tax waivers for the construction of an 84-kilometre multi-modal railway line between Tema and Akosombo.
When completed, the railway project will facilitate movement from Tema to Buipe through Akosombo.
Citi Business News is also learning that the rail line comprises rail stations between Tema and Akosombo and the construction of railway heads at Tema and Akosombo.
Meanwhile, the President maintains that the government is engaging consultants on the proposed railway line between Kumasi and Paga.
“The process has also commenced selecting a suitable partner for the construction of the eastern line from Accra to Tema to Kumasi; we aim to break grounds this year. A central spine from Kumasi to Paga is also receiving attention and consultants have been engaged to advise the government on the best model for the development of the line,” he added.
Ghana-Burkina Faso rail line to complete by 2018 3rd quarter
Commenting on the progress of work on the Ghana Burkina Faso railway line, Nana Akufo Addo was confident of completing the process by the end of the year.
“Concerning the Ghana Burkina Faso rail interconnectivity, the two countries are in earnest discussions as to the realisation of the project. There are fortnightly meetings either in Accra or Ouagadougou, and we are confident that the deliberations will conclude and actual construction will commence by the third quarter of the year,” he stressed.