Regional

Stealing of railway tracks hampering revamping efforts – Deputy Railways Minister

The Ministry of Railways Development has expressed concern about the continuous stealing of railway tracks, which is causing the country to lose money.

According to the Ministry, it costs the nation millions of cedis to construct a kilometre of a rail line, and that the continuous theft of the lines is hampering efforts at reviving the sector.

Deputy Minister for Railways Development, Kwaku Asante, is currently visiting areas in the Ashanti Region where some stolen lines have been retrieved by the police.

The Ministry says some suspects are currently before the court, while others have been prosecuted over the theft of the lines.

“We borrowed money from outside to finance some of the projects we are doing. But look at the situation we find ourselves in; this time the stealing is growing. It is a big business, and we suspect that there is a syndicate that has made it a purpose to steal the railway tracks and use the money for their own benefits.”

“All these assets are stolen items that we have been able to retrieve from the public. I want all Ghanaians to be aware of the activities of these thieves so that all of us will be watchdogs in our communities where there are railway lines and report anyone that goes near the asset to the police.”

Under the government of Nana Addo, the development of the railway sector has been made a top priority.

In light of this, the President carved out the Railways Development Ministry from the transport ministry to undertake a number of projects to revive the country’s rail sector.

The government also pumped an undisclosed amount of money into the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) as part of efforts to help the company become self-reliant.

But these efforts to get the rail sector revamped are being impeded with rail track theft and encroachment.

In some instances, the activities of persons residing within the fifty feet allowable space around railway lines are affecting construction works.

Already, rehabilitation works on the Takoradi to Tarkwa rail line have been completed. The Accra-Tema railway line has also been completed and started operations.

The government also signed an agreement with a South African group, Africa Investment (Ai) SkyTrain Consortium, for the construction of the Accra Sky Train Project with feasibility studies finalized.

Citinewsroom

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