Mr Kwaku Agyenim Boateng, the Deputy Minister for Railways Development, has said the alterations have been made to structural design of the 95 kilometre-railway being constructed from Tema through the Timber Market to Mpakadan in the Volta Region.
This is to minimise the number of traders to be dislocated at the Timber Market, in line with the requests of the Ashaiman Timber Market Association.
Mr Agyenim Boateng, however, assured that the quality and safety of the railway had not been compromised in an attempt to grant the wishes of workers at the market.
The Association, at the first meeting held to announce the construction of the railway, last two weeks, requested that the length of the pavement from the rail-line to their place of operation be reduced to prevent more people from having to relocate their shops.
The Association asked that the length of the pavement be reduced to 50 feet, which is 30 meters, away from the market territory, while the centre line of the railway was shifted from their machinery shop.
Following their request, Mr Agyenim Boateng, held another meeting with the Association at Accra, on Tuesday, to inform the workers that their demands had been granted.
“The last time I was here to tell you that we will be constructing a railway here to enhance your businesses, you requested that the length of corridor along the railway be reduced to 50 feet, and also that the centre line of the railway be moved away from your machinery shops to prevent relocation.
“I am here to tell you that both requests have been granted. The length of the pavement has been reduced to 50 feet; the centre line has also been withdrawn from 10 feet, so your machinery shop is also saved,” he said.
He stated that the changes would surely, consequently, reduce the previously estimated number of houses to be demolished from 120 to a handful.
The Minister explained that the decision to make alterations to the original plans of the engineers in charge of the construction of the railway was not an easy task.
He said the work had already begun and will not be delayed for any reason and called for the cooperation of the traders because the railway would benefit them beyond their expectations.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency, Mr Anthony Partey Asare, the Chairman of the Ashaiman Timber Association, said it was now expected of the workers at the timber market to clear from within the 50 feet designated for the construction of the pavement.
He said workers that fell within the 50ft had till the 30th of November to clear out of the territory so that the constructors and engineers would have the freedom to work and prevent any demolition exercises.
Mr Asare went thanked the Ministry and all stakeholders involved in initiating the project.