The Ghana Railway Workers Union (GRWU) has appealed to the government to give the revamping of the western rail line the maximum attention to relieve the pains and suffering of Ghana’s premier rail services.
It stressed that the continuing collapse of the Takoradi-Awaso rail line was a threat to the welfare of the rail workers and the economy of the western part of Ghana.
In a release singed by the General Secretary of GRWU, Godwill Ntarmah, and copied to the Ghanaian Times, the rail workers noted with concern the speed at which the Ministry of Railways Development struck a deal for the construction of sky train for Ghana by August 2020.
Saying that the initiative was good, the rail workers, however, wrote “they do not inure to the benefits of the Ghana Railway Company Ltd (GRCL).”
“Considering the financial challenges facing the GRCL, we are of the view that anything short of total revamping of the western rail line from Kojokrom up to Awaso to enable bauxite, manganese and cocoa to be hauled by rail cannot sustain the operations of the GRCL.
“The GRCL has over the years been a burden on central government and until a total revamping of the western rail line is done, it will be impossible to sustain GRCL,” the release said.
It said, the company had relied on the Takoradi-Awaso rail line for the haulage of commodities, including timber, cocoa, manganese and bauxite, and said that in April, this year, Ghanaians were told that a contract had been signed for the revamping of the western rail line from Tarkwa to Dunkwa, but “till date we are yet to see the real signs of the start of that contract.”
Later in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, Mr Ntarmah revealed that GRCL hauled only manganese from Nsuta to the Takoradi port, and that the passenger train service did not go beyond Tarkwa due to the bad nature of the rail line.
“Our future prospects have been shattered. We need to save the rail line from Takoradi to Awaso to haul the commodities and improve the economy of the railway sub-sector,” he added.
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