The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has cut the sod for the construction of the Manso to Huni-Valley section of the Western Railway line at Manso in the Mpohor District of the Western Region.
The Project is approximated to be 78 kilometers with an estimated cost of 500 million Euros.
The Western Railway Line which has a route length of 340 km runs from Sekondi-Takoradi to Kumasi with a branch line from Dunkwa to Awaso, is the major route for the transportation of major minerals and other bulk commodities.
The haulage of such bulk commodities on the lines reduces the challenge of using road transport which causes road deterioration.
The Manso-Huni-Valley line which would be on a standard gauge forms part of the development and reconstruction of the entire Western railway line.
Speaking at the ceremony, the President, Nana Akufo-Addo mentioned that 947 km built in the colonial era were left to deteriorate with only 10% being operational.
He reiterated Government’s commitment to providing the necessary support to ensure the country’s railway sector is modernized.
He added that the Manso to Huni-Valley rail line forms part of series of projects to improve the railway sector.
According to him, transportation is a necessity to economic activities and also has the potential to provide access to market and improve job creation among others.
President Akufo-Addo noted that, the Manso to Huni-Valley rail line which is the highest single investment is scheduled to be completed within 42 months.
He urged perpetrators who steal the rail lines to desist from the act or when caught will be prosecuted.
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah said the railway line is the mainstay which provides economic and financial support for the Ghana Railway Company Limited although the line has not been in good shape for some period.
According to him, the addition of 78 km to the existing 22 km already constructed will provide jobs for Ghanaians.
He said although the earthworks have already been laid by Amandi Holdings, construction of it will help improve the sector.
He called for indigenes to be employed to work on the lines as a means of providing jobs for them.
The Minister of Railway Development, John Peter Amewu said the Western line has a huge potential in terms of haulage of liquid and bulk cargos.
He said rail transport is critical as it provides a cheaper and more efficient means of transporting commodities.
He noted that, the provision of an efficient rail transport system along the Western corridor will move some major constraints to economic development through reduction in freight transport cost.
According to him, the Manso rail line forms part of the first section of the master plan developed by the Ministry.
Mr. Amewu mentioned the scope of work it entails.
The Chief of Manso, Nana Katakyere called for the reactivation of the railway lines to help boost economic activities in the district, adding that, the railway line is of major importance to the people of Manso.
Touching on some challenges facing the community, Mpohor district faces some major challenges including poor road networks among others.
Amandi Holdings Limited is undertaking the project.