24 May 2019

Ghana: CCT Consult Appeals to Chiefs to Release Land for Railway Construction

PThe Ghanaian project broker and consultant to China Railway Number 5 Engineering Group Company Limited (CR5 aka Wuju), CCT Consult, has pledged its commitment to ensure that the Chinese firm, which has been awarded part of the construction of the Western Rail Line, fulfil its task.

The project, a USD 500 million contract covers the development of 135 kilometres of standard guage rail line from Manso to Dunkwa in two phases.

A Director of CCT Consult, Jerry Eben Odotei, has, therefore, appealed to chiefs and other land owners along the rail line to release land where needed, to ensure a timely delivery by the contractor and thereby support government's goal of a functional railway system to become a reality.

He disclosed that part of the land required for the construction was outside the current right of way, hence the need for the cooperation of all stakeholders to ensure the timely completion of the project.

Mr Odotei was speaking to the media on his return from Beijing, China, where the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), signed the agreement with CR5.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey and other government officials.

The Western Rail Line spans Takoradi and Kumasi, covering 270 kilometres, with a 30 kilometre branch from Dunkwa to Awaso.

Mr Odotei explained that the first phase of CR5's contract, which covers the 38 kilometre Manso to Tarkwa section, will be completed in October 2020.

He disclosed further that the remaining portion of the contract from Tarkwa to Dunkwa could be completed ahead of the 36 month period from the date of commencement given by GRDA.

"All these are subject to the employer and government fulfilling parts of their responsibilities particularly ensuring the availability of land for the construction," he stated.

Mr Odotei praised what he described as a bold initiative by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to ensure the earnest commencement of the project by fulfilling the dictates of the procurement law process which started in 2012.

"It is truism that no nation has developed without an efficient transport system of which railway is a major part therein," Mr Odotei stressed.

He disclosed that the standard guage line, which will enable trains travel at 160 kilometres per hour, will cut travel time, enable mass movement of passengers and freight and reduce the dependence on road transport and its attendant effects on the public purse and the environment.

Mr Odontei gave the assurance of CCT Consult's commitment to dialogue with GRDA and government to meet the aspirations outlined in the contract as well as to negotiate any potential variations.

"CCT Consult is still engaging in discussion with several financiers for funding to complete the entire Western Rail Line," the Director hinted.

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