Government quest to reduce traffic congestion in the capital city has been given a major boost after the newly created Ministry of Railway Development has promised to ease the situation with the implementation of the Accra monorail system project.
According to the Minster, Mr. Joe Ghartey, his office is studying some juicy proposals from international topnotch companies who are ready to ‘pump in money’ to make the project a reality.
He noted that the project when awarded will be extended to the Ashanti Region since the traffic situation in the Garden City is similar to that of Accra.
“Today, Ghana has more populace in the urban areas than in the rural areas. Accra’s population is more than five million [5million] and growing and Kumasi I hear is about three million [3million] and growing. And if you look at the number of people who come to Accra and Kumasi every day, I am sure it will be about more than five million by far and so the roads cannot handle the amount of traffic,” he said
Adding that, “The truth of the matter is that, we have to have a more sufficient way of transport within the cities”
In an exclusive interview with Peacefmonline.com, Mr. Joe Ghartey revealed that “Quite a number of countries are showing interest in our own railway projects so I will be meeting those who want to participate in our developmental project in Spain.”
Currently, the public transit in the city of Accra is provided by a mix of privately owned mini-buses known as 'tro-tro', taxis and buses, which add to the congested streets and contribute to air pollution. The new transit system (Monorail) when constructed will operate on elevated beams in order not to disturb the pedestrians and traffic on the ground.
The well known 'tro-tros', buses and other commercial vehicles will be rerouted to feed the transit line after implementation, in order to link more passengers to the Monorail system. The Monorail will carry more than 700,000 passengers per day, with cruising speeds up to 80 kilometre per hour and run 24 hours in a day.
Modern monorails are environmental friendly since most are electrically powered and non-polluting – but can Ghana afford its electrical consumption?
“Yes we can afford it, our energy system is better than before and there’re arrangements by government to improve on it. In the next few years our power problem will be solved completely,” he said.
Even though Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) module has not been settled on the exact figure for them project yet – however, a proposal available to Peacefmonline.com indicates that the Accra project might cost government $2.5 billion – and that will include costs for light rail lines, eight light rail carriages, construction, compensations etc.
Mr. Joe Ghartey who is currently meeting some investors in Spain noted that - “As far as our rail project is concerned, it seems to me that we may even exceed our targets. The interest in rail and the response [from investors], it seems to me that within four years, we shall exceed our own expectations.”
He however assured that the Nana Addo-led government will “walk the talk” to make this project a reality to curb the traffic situation in the city.