Railway Minister goes hard on GRCL, wants Tarkoradi-Tarkwa rail lines ready by October
The Ghana Railway Company Limited has been issued a two month ultimatum to complete rehabilitation works on the Takoradi- Tarkwa rail lines lest risk the consequence of having some top official and staff responsible being sanctioned.
This profound statement was made by the Minister for Railway Development Authority, Joe Ghartey during an inspection visit at the Railway Workshop in “Location”, Essikado of the Western Region.
The Minister though satisfied with progress of work, tasked that the company does its best to ready the rail network by October this year. According to him, the assurances of getting that phase of the Western Rail lines completed, has been revised on several occasion on grounds of some technical and logistical challenges. He noted that most of these issues have been resolved and that there would be no excuse if some substantial work is not done by end of September this year, in fulfillment of the October deadline.
“They [Ghana Railway Company Limited] gave us the promise that they will go to Tarkwa some time ago. If by end of September, I don’t see very positive that they will reach Tarkwa in October, then I would have to recommend that heads must roll because somebody is not doing his work.
“We have to crack the whip! We have to crack the whip!!” he exclaimed.
Mr. Joe Ghartey justified that the company has been given some technical and logistical resources including a salary raise so as to motivate the company to work assiduously at completing the rehabilitation project.
“Government has so far put about GH¢105 million into the Railway Company Limited. They’ve used it to buy track tools, slippers, employed more staff…we’ve employed about 300 more people. Their salaries have just been increased by 20 percent, and so they have no excuse. They have to deliver.
“Two years ago they say they going to reach Tarkwa and they haven’t. So I’m giving them September to complete Nsawam. When they finish Nsawam they will move their men to this line within thirty days. From the day they reach Nsawam, I will come and inspect this line and I will make my recommendations if I’m not satisfied with their work” he scored.
Deputy Managing Director in charge of Engineering, Ghana Railway Company Limited, Dr. Michael Adjei Anyatei in a response to the concerns raised by the minister noted that some rigorous work would be pursued to meet the deadline.
“He’s given us the deadline to make sure that the passenger service from Takoradi to Tarkwa is completed. We have to. We have no choice” he answered.
He justified that the delays were as a result of engineering and calibration work that need to be satisfied for the passenger freight.
He said “we need to do a detailed work on the cross levels to make sure that when you sit on the train you can ride comfortably”
“All we need to do is probably to double up. Because now he’s serious.” Dr. Ajei Anyatei remarked.