The Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey has debunked assertions that the country’s current town planning system would not support modern sky train infrastructure.
He said experts are of the view that sky train infrastructure is the most economical and easiest compared to other rail transport infrastructure.
“The thing [is] that, inside the city of Accra, it will be difficult to do an underground train, for various reasons, the median alone is another option. The sky is the easiest because you only have to raise pillars and the train goes above the ground. Experts say it’s the easiest and cost-effective” he explained.
Mr Ghartey added, experts are of the view that because Ghana is not properly planned, sky train was best for the country.
“We are not on the ground, we are above the ground and we are not in anyone’s space. Because our cities are not well planned we can’t do underground rail lines which is very expensive. For the sky train, we are told it can cost about $10 million per kilometre which is cheaper compared to other rail infrastructure.” he maintained.
The Minister added that the railway development ministry will not be funding the sky train project but rather it would be based on build-operate-transfer (BOT) financing.
“We are not putting our money in the sky train project; we are doing it by BOT. The Ghana infrastructure investment fund has invested in that project as an anchor investor. They are currently doing a feasibility study, after their done, they will bring their proposal and I take it to the cabinet and if it’s good enough we will do it and if it’s not good we won’t do it.”
SKY TRAIN PROJECT
In November 2018, the government signed an agreement with a South African group, Africa Investment (Ai) SkyTrain Consortium, for the construction of a $3 billion Accra Sky Train Project.
The project would be rolled out in phases, with the first covering 256km at a cost of $1.2bn.
The Sky Train Project is expected to solve the increasing road traffic congestion in Accra as well as boost economic activities in the capital city Accra while dealing with pollution.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is expected to last for nine months for (Ai SkyTrain Consortium) to do a feasibility study into detail after which concessionary agreements will be presented to cabinet for approval.
If approved, construction would commence in January 2020.