The minister of transport Dzifa Attivor has disclosed that the ministry is currently in consultations with stakeholders in Western and Central Regions on the possibility of constructing another airport to serve the two regions. She said work on other aerodromes at Ho and Wa are also progressing steadily. Dzifa Attivor was giving the overview of the performance and projects ongoing in the country at the Transport Sector’s year review in Takoradi.
Western and Central Regions to get new airports
Madam Attivor noted that, despite the above achievement in the transport sector, much capital is required to provide the transport needs of the ever growing population of Ghana.
The minister indicated that “there is an ongoing expansion works of the arrival hall at the Kotoka International Airport, which is expected to be completed early next year. Works on the Tamale airport which will also serve as an alternative international airport is about 65 percent complete”.
Similarly, she said, plans are on course to construct and redevelop an aerodrome at Ho in the Volta region while works on the Wa aerodrome expected to start domestic operations before the end of this year is ongoing. For the western and central regions she revealed that “efforts are been made to construct an airport in this [Western] region. We will consider the location of the airport to serve both the Western and Central regions to help boost transport services and to reduce the pressure on the Takoradi Airport”.
The Takoradi Airport became more pronounced following the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities as it is currently serving as the base for supplying food and other items needed by the offshore oil operators.
Some civil society organizations had earlier questioned the idea for the airport to be used for commercial purposes since it was a military installation. Nonetheless the airport has since been operating commercially.
On how far plans are towards the establishment of the national carrier, Madam Dzifa Attivor explained that a public private partner will be selected before the close of 2015.
On the maritime sector the minister noted that some considerable feat has been achieved with the procurement of three 50 seated high speed passenger ferries aimed at improving the transportation needs of people living along the Volta Lake. These ferries she said are undergoing assembling soon to be deployed for cross ferry services.
“Construction of one unit modular passenger and cargo ferry has also been completed for deployment on the lake”. She added. Madam Attivor also mentioned that the expansion works on the Tema and Takoradi Habours “are progressing steadily”
The transport minister on the railway sector acknowledged the challenges associated with the release of funds for intensive physical infrastructure by government due to lack of funds available to it. However, she mentioned that a railway master plan has recently been completed to serve as a blueprint for the systematic development of railways in the country. The blueprint according to her proposes the redevelopment of the existing railway lines starting with the sub urban Kojokrom-Sekondi-Takoradi rail lines in the western region.
“As a follow up, arrangements are also ongoing for assistance from the Brazilian government to implement the Kojokrom-Awaso section of the western rail lines through Offin-Dunkwa…while plans are also far advance to secure an Indian Exim Bank facility to construct a railway line from Tema in the Greater Accra region to Akosombo in the Eastern region”
Madam Dzifa Attivor hinted of the introduction of a third public transport system which will be called Bus Rapid Transit BRT. “The first batch of the BRT buses will operate from Amasaman to the Central Business district on a pilot basis. It will later be replicated on the Adenta-Accra and Kasoa-Accra corridors as well as all regional capitals”.
She added that over 400 new coaches have been secure for the Metro Mass Transit and the Intercity STC services throughout the country.
Madam Attivor however noted that, despite the above achievement in the transport sector, much capital is required to provide the transport needs of the ever growing population of Ghana. She also warned encroachers of properties belonging to state intuitions to desist from such acts as they will be made to face the full rigours of the law when they are caught in the act.
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