THE construction of Kumasi-Obuasi Standard Gauge Railway, which forms a part of the new Takoradi – Kumasi (Western) Line is yet to start eight months after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo broke grounds for the start of the implementation of the 83.5-kilometre project.
This is a result of the widespread encroachment on lands earmarked for the railway redevelopment. According to reports, the most affected area is the regional capital, Kumasi, where the first phase of the Kumasi-Obuasi Standard Gauge Railway Project was to be undertaken between Adum and Kaase, a distance of six kilometres.
Some of the structures that have found their way onto the proposed railway lines include residential homes, churches, cold stores, and warehouses. Also at Adum, the centre of the city, what used to be the railway station and adjoining lands are now occupied by a market where food items are sold, mostly in dilapidated wooden structures.
Resolving the situation
The Ghana Railways Development Authority (GRDA), led by the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yaw Owusu, has resorted to dialogue with the encroachers and other people affected by the project to get them to vacate the land for construction to commence.
Owusu said the sector minister, John-Peter Amewu, would also lead a series of stakeholders such as the chiefs and the political leaders of the affected communities, to engage the people in a bid to resolve the situation.
‘The few of us who chose to develop on the way of the proposed railway lines are holding all of us to ransom because the project has stalled and unless we clear these structures, the benefits of a modern railway transportation system, as envisaged by his Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will be elusive,’ he stated.