A ground breaking ceremony for the construction of an 83.5 kilometres first phase Kumasi to Obuasi section of the new standard gauge railway line has been performed by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The project formed part of other standard gauge rail lines being constructed across the country by the government into which two billion dollars has been invested.
President Akufo-Addo, addressing a durbar of chiefs and people at Kaase, a suburb of Kumasi, said the government was committed to changing the face of the railway sector in the country.
He said the government had laid a solid foundation in the sector considering the numerous railway line projects that had been embarked on in the few years in power.
The President said the construction of the railway line would revive the industrial town of Kaase calling for the support of chiefs in beneficiary areas.
The Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, explained that, the Kumasi to Obuasi project was part of the new standard gauge Western Line, which is being developed from Sekondi-Takoradi to Kumasi.
He noted that, the first train to Kumasi arrived in 1903 and it was a narrow gauge which has remained unchanged for several decades until the project.
Mr Ghartey said the situation had been the same in all parts of the country; however, the country would see standard gauge railway lines being constructed, with the primary aim of building upon the country’s transport network and boosting economic activities and reduce travel time for commuters and goods.
He noted that, government has been successful to a large extent in moving the country away from its colonial narrow gauge rail lines to standard gauge, constructing several kilometers of railway lines and rehabilitating many others.
The Board Chairman of David Walter Limited, the contractor for the project, Mr David Asante, expressed his gratitude to the government for trusting their capability and professionalism and awarding the contract to his company.
He called for more consideration from government to indigenous companies and promote the private sector.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI