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General News Fri, 29 Jan 1999

Minimise waste in the transport system -- Professor

Accra (Greater Accra), 29 Jan. '99 - Professor Samuel Tetteh Addo, a lecturer of the University of Ghana, Legon, today urged scientists to come out with programmes to eliminate or minimise waste in the national transport system. Prof. Addo, who was speaking at a transportation conference as part of activities of the Motor Show and TruckEx '99 in Accra, said it has been established that there is a lot of waste in the country's rudimentary transport system but scientists are yet to come out with the quantum of this waste and how it can be minimised or eliminated. He said a major source of this waste is poor utilisation of transport capacities due to inefficient co-ordination when speaking on ''The Role Of Telecommunication Systems In Transport Management In Ghana: problems and Prospects''. Prof. Addo noted that some of the problems in the sector are due to the fact that Ghana has, as in the case of most developing countries, reversed the relationship that exists between telecommunications and the transport networks. As a result, the system is bedevilled with inadequate network facilities and inefficient use of expensive transport fleet Citing some examples, Prof. Addo said a study into the production, distribution and marketing of charcoal revealed that inefficiencies exist in specialised charcoal transportation due to the poor quality of roads in the main charcoal areas and the number of days a truck may have to wait for a load in between trips. A similar lapse also occurs when, after discharging the load in the urban centre, the truck has to return empty to the charcoal producing area. Prof. Addo stated that the proliferation of taxi ranks in the urban areas is a result of the non-existence of a reliable, comfortable, efficient and safe big bus transport services. However, in the case of floating taxis, ''we may adopt the European and American model where each taxi is fitted with a radio phone connected to a central point from which movement of taxis are gathered to exact location of clients.'' He added that these are issues that fall squarely within the territories of government and its agencies and expressed the hope that efforts would be made to promote the establishment of a useful relationship between transport and telecommunications systems. Mr Kwesi Hagan, a representative of Mobil Ghana Limited, said the high cost of vehicle maintenance has made most transporters pay less attention to it. ''But this neglect in the maintenance schedule rather causes the transporter to increase expenses during servicing''. He said a good motor transport maintenance system also requires that roads must be well maintained to prevent driving under unexpected harsh conditions in addition to skilful driving. The absence of these may invariably affect planned maintenance programmes. Mr Hagan urged drivers to adapt the habit of ''making sure that fuel quantity is sufficient for a planned journey, that coolant level is correct, that tyres are correctly inflated, in good condition and wheel nuts are in place''. Other topics for discussion at the conference include motor insurance, motor transport purchasing schemes, cargo care and handling and traffic management and road safety.

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