The Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, on January 4, 2019 was joined by the Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah on the invitation of the Managing Director of Ghana Railways Company Limited, Mr John Essel for the test run of the Accra to Tema suburban passenger line to inspect the project before its official launch.
Joe Ghartey had earlier announced that Ghana Railway Company Limited will offer a free ride for commuters on the Accra-Tema rail line on Tuesday, January 8 – but the exercise has been rescheduled.
The exercise according to the sector minster will now take place in two weeks time; on January 19, 2019 due to encroachment on its tracks around Circle, Avenor, and Achimota.
Speaking to Peacefmonline.com, the minister said they observed the encroachment following the inspection exercise.
“The activities of the encroachers threaten the development of our railways sector. It threatens the opportunity that the railways afford us to transform our economy,” he said.
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The minister said the Ghana Railways Company Limited will make sure the lines are safe before the trains are made to operate on the tracks.
“It was clear that human activity of encroachers and people who use the railway track illegally as a thorough fare and a place for economic activity, threaten the operations of not just the Accra to Tema Suburban Railway Line but of our entire railway sector.
“We cannot allow the interest of a small minority, who are acting illegally, take precedence over the interest of Ghana. I use this occasion to appeal finally to the people encroaching on railway land to advice them,” Mr Joe Ghartey noted.
The Ghana Railway Company Limited had earlier said it would offer the free service for rail commuters from January 8 to 19 as part of its 120th Anniversary Celebration.
As part of the earlier plan, it will charge a flat rate of GH¢5.00 from January 19, 2019, when the free service offer expires.
The rail sector had virtually been non-existent following a series of challenges that forced many trains to be grounded.
But the sector appears to be bouncing back following new mechanisms and injected capital supervised by the sector minister, Joe Ghartey to build a robust sector.
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