Business News of 2014-01-10

Obuasi train station in deplorable state

The Obuasi train station, on the Kumasi to Sekondi-Takoradi rail line, has stopped operating since 2004.

This is due to damaged railway lines and constant malfunctioning of the train which operates on the line. Most of the train coaches have deteriorated and have been sent to Accra for the past 10 years but have not returned.

Just like the properties of the Ghana Railway Company elsewhere, the land closest to the rail lines has been encroached upon.

Years of neglect have resulted in the immediate surrounding of the station being dirty and overgrowing with weed.

Windows of the building and the office furniture have been destroyed, some roofing sheets of the building have also spoilt as a result of the neglect and the signboard fixed in front of the building has blurred writing making it difficult to retrieve any information from it.

The situation has given way to a number of illegal activities very close to the railway lines.

A number of buildings, including drinking spots and grocery shops, have sprung up there.

Apart from that, a cement block manufacturer and a vulcaniser have teamed up to ply their trade near the rail lines.

Challenges

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the station master of the Obuasi train station, Mr Joseph Prah, said there were some challenges that had led to the closure of the station.

He said the rail lines had suffered from the activities of galamsey operators, as they had removed certain metals from the rail lines.

Mr Prah said the railway signal, an electrical device erected beside a railway line to pass information relating to the state of the line ahead to the train driver, was not functioning either.

The train cargo compartment, he said, supported the Anglo Gold Ashanti company and farmers in the municipality in conveying their goods such as foodstuffs, timber, cocoa and mining equipment, but the cargo compactment was no longer working because of the bad nature of the railways lines.

The station master said carrying goods on the train was safer and less expensive as compared to other vehicles, adding that the absence of the train services had affected mining and agricultural activities in the area.

“There is a need for renovation of the entire building making up the railway station and its surroundings because it will solve about 30 per cent of unemployment problems in the municipality,” he said.

Mr Prah disclosed that due to the closure of the station, all the engineers and some workers had been transferred to Awaso, Takoradi, Accra and other stations to assist them in their work.

He said only a few workers were left at the Obuasi train station to protect the properties.

Source: graphic.com
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