The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has charged the Mayor of Kumasi and the Ministry of Railway Development to go ahead with its intended demolition exercise of all structures on the Right of Way for the construction of the six kilometer Kumasi (Adum) to Kaase section of the western railway line.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II cautioned that no compensation will be paid to anyone whose property would be affected by the demolition exercise.
Although the Asantehene pledged his full support for the construction of the new standard gauge railway line, he blamed the railway workers for failing to protect key railway lands from squatters, traders and private developers.
He condemned the act and called on the Railway Development Minister, John-Peter Amewu to partner the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to carry out the demolition exercise.
He advised the sector minister to put aside partisan politics and act accordingly to achieve the President’s vision to build a modern railway network.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made the comments when the minister paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace in Kumasi on Wednesday to inform him of the intended demolition exercise to be carried out to enable the contractor who has already mobilized on site to commence the construction works.
Recounting the once vibrant railway system, His Royal Majesty said the railway system under the then Gold Coast was used for the transportation of gold, bauxite, manganese, among others, which created job opportunities, improved the living conditions of the people and also enhanced economic growth. However, several years of neglect has killed the rail transport system in Ghana.
He was hopeful that the government’s commitment to revamp the rail sector will ease the pressure on the roads and will also change the economic fortunes of the country.
The Asantehene therefore urged the Railway Minister to take the necessary actions so that work can commence in earnest.
He congratulated Mr. Amewu for his appointment as the Railway Minister and said he remains committed to supporting the government to bring back the rail transport system in the Ashanti Region and the country at large.
On his part, the Railway Minister expressed concern over the numerous encroachments on the ‘right of way’.
The sector Minister reiterated that President Akufo-Addo is committed to building a modern railway network.
He also expressed his kind gratitude to His Majesty for his support towards the rail project.
The minister was accompanied by the Chief Director, the Acting CEO of the Ghana Railway Development and some officials of the ministry, the contractor – Messrs David Walter as well as the project designers, TEAM Engineering.
The Railway Minister and his team together with officials of the Kumasi Metropolitan Authority later visited Adum to Kaase section to ascertain the level of encroachment on the right of way.
He called on the project designers to produce a document, indicating the number of structures which would be affected by the demolition exercise.
President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday 30th September 2020 cut the sod for works to commence on the 83.5 kilometer standard gauge railway line from Kumasi (Adum) through Kaase, Eduadin to Obuasi.