Asantehene hails government’s efforts to revamp railways sector
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has hailed the Mills Administration for its efforts to re-develop the railways sector and said everything must be done to ensure this becomes successful.
“It is in the interest of Ghana”, he said, when he received the Board members of the Ghana Railways Development Authority (GRDA) to his Manhyia Palace, on Friday.
They were there to brief him on the planned construction of the railway
line from Kumasi to Paga and the reconstruction of the Tema-Kumasi line.
Mr Dan Markin, the Chairman of the Board, led the delegation.
The Asantehene underlined the important role of the sector in socio-economic development and pledged his support.
He urged for a more business approach to the implementation of the project, saying, it should not be allowed to be bogged down in bureaucracy.
Responding to concerns about the massive encroachment on GRDA’s lands in Kumasi, a major bother to the Board, Otumfuo Osei Tutu said officials of the former Ghana Railways Corporation (GRC) should take the blame.
“We must not perfect illegality. We must go by the laws.”
He questioned the legal basis of the lease of those lands to developers by the GRC and said if even the government had decided that it was no longer interested in the acquired lands, they should have reverted to the original owners.
Mr Markin said they were serious about getting the project done to open the country up to business.
He said given the strategic location of Kumasi, its railways station would be upgraded to modern standards.
The GRDA Board Chairman sought the support of the Asantehene, in the face the massive demolitions and dislocation of traders squatting on the Authority’s lands.
He said to avoid the pulling down of more structures they had decided to start the construction of the line to Paga from Ejisu.