Transport Minister Kwaku Asiamah
The Transport Minister, Kwaku Asiamah, has appealed to the residents of New Takoradi in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis to rescind their decision to embark on a protest over the delay in the construction of the 2nd phase of a road project in the area.
According to the minister, the delay in the construction of the road from the New Takoradi Roundabout, through the marshy area at New Takoradi to Takoradi Container Terminal (TACOTEL), was not the fault of the contractor.
He explained that the project was initially to pass through a railway land which had been encroached. He added that the affected people were demanding huge compensations and so the contractor was planning for realignment.Members of the New Takoradi community had for years decried and demonstrated against city authorities over the bad nature of the road.
The road serves the Ghana Bauxite Company, the Takoradi Flour Mills, Ghana Cement (GHACEM), the Takoradi Port and other companies.According to the residents, they could not understand why the big companies operating in the area were unable to pool resources to find a permanent solution to the poor state of the road.
Ibistek, operators of TACOTEL, in partnership with the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, decided to construct the 4km road at their own expense.
The first phase covered the rehabilitation of existing road from the Paa Grant Roundabout in Takoradi through to the New Takoradi Roundabout to the Takoradi Port Gate 10.
Concrete was used as base and pavement blocks on the surface, walkways and street lights were all included in the design.
The first phase of the project was officially commissioned by President Akufo-Addo as part of his three-day tour of the Western Region last year.
However, the second section from the New Takoradi Roundabout, through the marshy area at New Takoradi to TACOTEL which was scheduled to be completed in December last year, had delayed and the residents are planning to demonstrate for the speedy completion of the project.Reacting to the concerns of the residents, the Transport Minister, in an interview, said that the residents should be truthful to themselves and rather commend Ibistek for the initiative.
He indicated that those big companies that had been operating in the area for years refused to construct the road.
According to the minister, when the Takoradi Port contacted GHACEM to collaborate with them to construct the road, the cement-producing company told the port officials that it was the responsibility of government to construct the road and not them. But Ibistek, which started operating in the area long ago, decided to fund the construction of the project.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ibistek, Kwame Gyan, was also surprised at the alleged behaviour of the people of New Takoradi.
He indicated that it was pathetic to note that some of the residents were demanding estates similar to that of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).