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Govt To Overhaul Rail Lines — Deputy Railways Minister   
 
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27-Oct-2017  
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The Deputy Minister of Railways Development, Mr Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng, has hinted that the government is to undertake a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s rail lines.

He said the tracks, lines and sleepers were all old, describing the tracks at Tesano in Accra in particular as “deplorable and not fit for purpose.”

Mr Agyenim-Boateng was speaking to journalists at the Achimota railway station in Accra after interacting with stakeholders, eyewitnesses, traders at the Santana Market and members of the community to solicit information on a recent train derailment at the place.

The visit was part of a fact-finding mission by a three-member committee on the incident, chaired by the deputy minister.

The committee is to find out the cause of the derailment and has a 10-day working deadline to submit its report.

Its other members are the Deputy Managing Director in charge of Engineering of the Ghana Railways Development Authority (GRDA), Mr Michael Adjei Anyetei, and the director in charge of Regulatory and Assurance of the GRDA, Mr Lord Quansah.

Accident spot

On October 24, 2017, an Accra-bound train from Tema derailed at Tesano, near the Achimota train station. One of the coaches fell off the rails, leading to the injury of three persons.

Mr Anyetei led the minister to the spot where the derailment took place and briefed him on the efforts being made to lift the train.

Government’s commitment

Mr Agyenim-Boateng reiterated the government’s commitment to revamping the railway sector and added that that had been demonstrated by the creation of a ministry to oversee the sector.

He said the report of the committee would have “far-reaching recommendations that will see a new railway sector.”

Meanwhile, he has tasked the management of the GRDA to ensure that the derailed train is lifted from the ground by the close of today.

He was not happy with the level of encroachment on the GRDA’s property and activities that were taking place on the rail lines.

Accident hotline

Mr Agyenim-Boateng said the ministry would absorb the medical bills of those who were injured as a result of the derailment and appealed to those who had not come forward to do so.

He asked members of the community and other eyewitnesses to volunteer information to the ministry.

A hotline, 0266510381, has been set up to receiving complaints, comments and information relating to the derailment.

Mr Agyenim-Boateng also told the workers of the GRDA that their needs would be met and charged them to adopt proper maintenance culture.

Appeal

Earlier at the forum, eyewitnesses gave graphic accounts of what happened and their opinions as to what caused the derailment.

They appealed to the government to put in place safety measures to make the use of rail transport safer.

Some of the participants called on the ministry to revamp the sector to ease transportation challenges.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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