Mr Joe Ghartey, the Minister of Railway Development, Tuesday announced that work on the nearly 100-kilometre Tema- Mpakadan rail line in the Volta Region, a section of the Ghana-Burkina Railway Interconnectivity Project, will be completed in August 2020.
Sixty per cent of the work had been completed with the laying of the track on course, Mr Ghartey said when he took his turn at the Meet-the Press series to update citizens on the major project.
The Project aims at facilitating trade and development between the neighbouring countries, from Ghana’s Eastern corridor, through an efficient transportation service for both freight and passengers.
This is in line with Ghana's Railway Master Plan.
From Mpakadan, the railway will further be extended to about 700 kilometres running through Hohoe, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbilla to Yendi and Sheni.
It will then continue to Tamale, Walewale, Bolgatanga, Navrongo and then link Burkina Faso at the Paga-Dakota Border.
From Paga to Ouogadougou, the project will cover a distance of 200 kilometres.
The Burkina Faso leg of the project starts from Ouagadougou and runs through Kombissiri, Manga, Beguedo, Garango, Tenkodogo, Bagre, Zabre, Po, Dakola to Paga.
Mr Ghartey explained that the Ministry went through the necessary public procurement processes and obtained approval from the Public Procurement Authority to engage the services of a consortium made up of Messrs team Engineering S.P.A of Italy and Vision Consult Limited of Ghana to provide transactional advisory services for the development of the project.
He said a Joint Committee of Experts from both countries had in line with the project implementation, reviewed and validated the Pre-feasibility Study Report from the consortium.
The Consortium, the Minister said, had already completed a count of all the properties, within the right-of-way, likely to be affected by the project.
The preliminary cost estimates had, consequently, been determined for land, structures, farm lands, economic trees and so on and would be included in the full feasibility studies.
Mr Ghartey said the Joint Committee of Experts emphasised the importance of estimating all the costs associated with the construction of the railway line, including the cost of acquiring the right-of-way and the compensation payable to facilitate investment decision making.
Other areas discussed at the joint meeting included, Traffic Studies, Risk Assessment, Financial Analysis, Topographic and Geotechnical Surveys.
The Consortium advised that the designs for the stations must take into account other economic activities that would enhance the viability of the project and spur the socio-economic advancement of the immediate communities around the stations.
TEAM International would present the final report to the Ministry by end of December, 2019, he said.
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