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The Ghana Railway Company Limited has warned persons who are engaged in stealing railway tracks and other properties belonging to the company to desist or be made to face the law.
The company in a press statement issued on Monday, September 6, 2021, said anyone found stealing its properties will be dealt with severely.
It insisted that the acts of these “miscreants” are thwarting the government’s efforts in revamping the railway sector in the country.
“It has been observed by the management of the Ghana Railway Company that some irresponsible persons (thieves) have been stealing rail lines (tracks) and steel sleepers belonging to this company across the country. The unfortunate behaviour of these miscreants has gone a long way in thwarting the efforts of the government of Ghana in revamping the railway sector in the country.”
“The management of the Ghana Railway Company Limited, therefore, wishes to warn all those involved in the stealing of the rails, steel sleepers, and other railway materials to desist from such irresponsible acts as they will be severely be dealt with by the law enforcement agencies when caught.”
It added that the properties of the company are national assets and therefore an offense for any unauthorized person or persons to remove them without any authorization.
“Ghana Railway Company Limited further reiterates that the railway lines are a national asset, and it is, therefore, an offense for an unauthorized person to remove any railway material from railway premises without authorization.”
The Ghana Railway Company Limited thus urged the public to report any person or persons caught stealing or in possession to the nearest police station.
“Ghana Railway Company Limited is again using the medium to inform the public to consider the president’s call on Ghanaians to be citizens and nit spectators by reporting any individual who is caught stealing or in possession of any piece of the railway line, steel sleeper, or material either to the company’s Chief Superintendent; Marine, Ports and Railway Police or the nearest police station.”
Stealing of railway tracks hampering revamping efforts – Deputy Railways Minister
The Ministry of Railways Development has also expressed concern about the continuous stealing of railway tracks, which is causing the country to lose money.
According to the Ministry, it costs the nation millions of cedis to construct a kilometre of a rail line, and that the continuous theft of the lines is hampering efforts at reviving the sector.
Deputy Minister for Railways Development, Kwaku Asante, is currently visiting areas in the Ashanti Region where some stolen lines have been retrieved by the police.
The Ministry said some suspects are currently before the court, while others have been prosecuted over the theft of the lines.
“We borrowed money from outside to finance some of the projects we are doing. But look at the situation we find ourselves in; this time the stealing is growing. It is a big business, and we suspect that there is a syndicate that has made it a purpose to steal the railway tracks and use the money for their own benefits.”
“All these assets are stolen items that we have been able to retrieve from the public. I want all Ghanaians to be aware of the activities of these thieves so that all of us will be watchdogs in our communities where there are railway lines and report anyone that goes near the asset to the police.”
About the revamping
Under the government of Nana Addo, the development of the railway sector has been made a top priority.
In light of this, the President carved out the Railways Development Ministry from the transport ministry to undertake a number of projects to revive the country’s rail sector.
The government also pumped an undisclosed amount of money into the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) as part of efforts to help the company become self-reliant.
But these efforts to get the rail sector revamped are being impeded with rail track theft and encroachment.
In some instances, the activities of persons residing within the fifty feet allowable space around railway lines are affecting construction works.
Already, rehabilitation works on the Takoradi to Tarkwa rail line have been completed. The Accra-Tema railway line has also been completed and started operations.
The government also signed an agreement with a South African group, Africa Investment (Ai) SkyTrain Consortium, for the construction of the Accra Sky Train Project with feasibility studies finalized.