Business News of 2014-01-15

STMA demolishes illegal structures

The Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) has embarked on a demolishing exercise to rid the central business district of the metropolis of illegal structures.

The exercise, which started late Monday afternoon, saw the removal of various illegal extensions, as well as structures placed at unauthorised places such as pavements (to already existing structures).

Areas noted for these illegal structures included the central business district (especially the Takoradi Central Market) and would be extended to Sekondi and Apremdo, among others.

The assembly said it was wrong for people to site structures without recourse to the existing rules and regulations of the assembly.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) of Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Captain Anthony Cudjoe (Rtd), said prior to the demolishing exercise, the assembly had carried out a survey to identify the locations of the illegal structures.

He said the metropolis was designed in such a way that made it easy to detect any illegal structures that had been erected by people.

The MCE deplored the attitude of some residents of the metropolis who obtained permits from assembly members who, according to the MCE, were not recognised bodies or individuals to issue permits.

He added that the city could not be run when people decide to act without recourse to the law and that “the assembly is not going to allow the people to hold the metropolis to ransom in the name of politics. The assembly has to do what is right.”

He said the assembly had space for everybody to do business in places such as Apremdo, only if the people in the central business district would agree to move there instead of erecting illegal structures in the central business district.

He said the STMA would continue to monitor all the structures that were put up in the metropolis, to ensure that illegal structures were not built.

Some residents in the metropolis whose structures were demolished, expressed dismay at the exercise that was being carried out by the STMA.

They said though they were aware that a demolishing exercise would be carried out in the metropolis, they were not told the exact date it would be carried out and that, to most of them, the exercise had been a huge surprise.

When the Daily Graphic walked through the metropolis, every available space - from pavement to frontage of shops and offices - had been taken over by petty traders (Prior to the exercise).

Central Business District of STMA appeared suffocated with illegal structures; in that most people who had stores had erected illegal extensions for their stores, which came close to the road.

Other traders too had erected makeshift stores on pavements around the Central Business District, notably the inner perimeter around the Takoradi central market popularly known as Market Circle, which was constructed for motorist who were going to shop at the market.

These illegal structures do not only dent the beauty of the metropolis but also impede on movement of people and vehicles in the metropolis, thereby causing massive vehicular traffic in the Central Business District during the peak hours of the day.

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