Minister for Railways Development, John-Peter Amewu, has stated that the construction of the Western Railway Line on standard gauge from Takoradi Port to Huni Valley is facing ‘serious challenges’ due to unlawful mining activities along the railway corridor.
According to him, illegal miners known as galamseyers have been excavating just a few meters away from the newly constructed railway lines.
Responding to questions on the floor of Parliament, the Minister stated that, “this compromises the structural integrity of the railway formation, causing significant additional cost to the project.”
“The contractor in some instances has to re-construct certain sections already done; clean up more silt left by miners in drains and culverts and reclaim land deteriorated through illegal mining,” he disclosed.
Mr. Amewu said these are expensive activities that cost the government millions of dollars.
“The Ministry of Railway Development and the Ghana Railway Development Authority are working tirelessly to ensure the completion of this project within the estimated time period,” he, however, noted.
On June 3, 2020, the government (represented by the Ghana Railway Development Authority) signed a contract with Messrs Amandi Investment Limited for the construction of sections of the Western Railway Line on standard gauge from Takoradi Port to Huni Valley.
The contract has a 42-month period starting on November 28, 2022, and the project is expected to be completed by May 28, 2026, depending on funding availability, the Minister intimated.
According to him, as at the end of October, 2023, the project was about 16.75% complete.
“It is our expectation to complete the connection between Nsuta and Takoradi Port by end of 2024 for the haulage of Manganese to the Port, using the new standard gauge railway line which will be more efficient and reliable,” he posited.
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House