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General News of Thursday, 14 January 1999

Source: --

Sessional address : Transport

Accra, Jan. 14, GNA - President Jerry John Rawlings today said a total of 1.32 billion dollars was spent on construction and re- construction of roads in the country between 1993 and September last year.

''We have maintained 18,244.80 kilometres of roads and reconstructed 1,209.10 kilometres''.

President Rawlings said this in his sessional address to Parliament today in which he outlined his government's achievements for the past years and projections for this year.

Among those present were Professor John Atta Mills, Vice President and his wife, Mr Justice I. K. Abban, Chief Justice, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, the first lady, members of the Council of State, Ministers of state, Service Commanders, Chiefs and leaders of the NPP, PNC, PCP, members of the diplomatic corps

For 1999, the president said major maintenance activities would be carried out. These include regravelling of 1,632 kilometres of roads, resealing 665 km, resurfacing 270 km, and rehabilitating 1,820 km.

With funds from the donor community, reconstruction work will commence on the 30 km Ahwia-Nkwanta-Kumasi road, 115 km Accra- Yamoransa road, 105 km Achimota-Anyinam road, 166 km Tema-Aflao and the 63 km Takoradi-Agona Junction roads.

''Also in 1999, we will work on securing funds to reconstruct the Kumasi-Kintampo road (180 km) and the Bamboi-Bole road (116 km),'' President

Rawlings said amidst cheers from MPs whose constituency would benefit from them.

Some roads under construction are expected to be completed by the end of the year. These include Sankara inter-change and Accra Roads.

President Rawlings urged communities whose roads have been constructed to become watchdogs to defend these roads against the actions of "road vandals" who steal road signs, railings and other safety barriers.

''These acts take place under the eyes of the very communities which agitated for the construction of these roads. It is time that communities become watchdogs to defend their roads against the actions of road vandals''.

He said modern tolling system will be introduced this year to recover from road users a contribution towards the cost of some the newly rehabilitated roads. These include Kumasi-Mampong-Ejura, Kumasi-Dormaa Ahenkro, intampo-Tamale and Tamale-Bolgatanga roads.

Tolling will also be introduced after rehabilitation and upgrading of the Tema-Akosombo, Yamoransa-Elubo, Yamoransa-Kumasi, Accra-Yamoransa, and the Accra-Kumasi roads, among others.

President Rawlings said the Ghana Railway Corporation will be converted into a limited liability company to pave the way for the concessionairing of its operations and the establishment of new business units with the private sector.

In the maritime sector, there will be dredging and the extension of Quay 2 to improve facilities at the port of Tema.

''A private operator will be selected in partnership with the Ports and Harbours Authority for container handling operations at the port''.