Professor Christopher Ameyaw Ekumfi, Minister for Harbours and Railways, uncharacteristically flared up openly and descended on a contractor constructing a tunnel for a road under the newly-constructed Accra-Tema railway line.

The Harbours and Railways Minister described the on-going construction work as totally needless and a waste, which is obviously going to delay the schedule fixed for the commencement of rail services between the two cities of Accra and Tema.

Prof. Ameyaw Ekumfi said he was devastated by the development, because his office was not aware of the project, adding that if he had been consulted he would have provided a better way of giving the residents of Martey Tsru an access route to and from their homes without touching the support base of the railway line.

He expressed fears that the work would not be completed before the year ends, and that could compel the Ministry to shelve the re-commencement of rail transport on that line.

According to the contractor undertaking the project, Konadu Yiadom Construction Limited, the contract was awarded to him by the Urban Roads Department of the Ministry of Transportation, but the work has come to a standstill as there was an issue of variation that had to be sorted out.

The contractor told the Harbours and Railways Minister that the original design and work load had changed and have forced him to alter the entire project, hence he was in touch with Urban Roads to rectify the situation to pave way for the early completion of the project.

Professor Ameyaw Ekumfi got angry immediately he arrived at the project site, and saw the newly-constructed rail line hanging in the air and at the mercy of the weather.

Walking under the engineered portion of the tunnel, which has already created a passage under the railway line and seeing the level of work done so far and the extent of work to be done to complete it, the Minister angrily remarked to the contractor, “Master, na nia moyeyi ase ne sen? Loosely translated, my friend what is the meaning of what you are doing?

He did not wait for an answer, but flared up and stated, “This is absolutely reckless!” He then asked, “Who gave you the authority to do this?” to which the, contractor replied, “It is the Urban Roads Department:”

He quickly called the Deputy Director of Urban Roads in charge of the project, Mr. L K. Mensah and lambasted him on phone and requested him to see him (Ekumfi) immediately to explain his action, especially when he was not aware of the project.

Prof. Ameyaw Ekumfi was accompanied to the project site by the acting Managing Director of Ghana Railways Company (GRC), Rufus Quaye, Chief Director of the Ministry, L W. Dodd, GRC Project Manager, William Ackon and Special Assistant, Ahmed Ayuba.

When contacted, Mr. L K. Mensah, Deputy Director of Urban Roads blamed GRC for not informing the Minister, because the department has since the early stages of the project been communicating with GRC officials. He said “they should have notified their Minister about the project.”

He however, disclosed that, at a meeting on Wednesday Prof. Ameyaw Ekumfi gave them an ultimatum of 30 days to complete the project and said, “We will do our best within the period.”

The Independent