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02.05.2007 General News

Chaos & lawlessness at 37

By Nii Kwaku Osabutey ANNY reconstruction of lorry park progresses slowly

The vicinity of the Akuafo Interchange (soon to be renamed after Dr. K. A. Busia) at 37, a suburb of Accra and its environs has been left in a big mess unbefitting of a ceremonial road lately.

Since about a fortnight ago that the usually busy 37 lorry park was closed for reconstruction work, commercial vehicle drivers have turned the roads and pavements into bus stops, parking lots and vending points.

“Almost everybody at the station complied with the directive to leave,” one newspaper vendor told the dailyEXPRESS while trying to take cover from the burning sun.

Because of the rather large number of traders, vendors and vehicles that apparently occupied the park, the pavement and streets do not appear enough for them.

Their presence has worsened both vehicular and human traffic at the 37 area and according to dailyEXPRESS enquires the situation will most probably persist far longer than the two months promised by the contractors.

On-going works are progressing at a very slow pace, and for many of the displaced persons, they have doubts about the early competition of the project.

The Chief Driver at the Tema/Ashiaman 37 drivers union Nana Yaw told the dailyEXPRESS “we were told that in two months the job will be completed but looking at what is being done, can one say we're on course.”

According to him, they (the affected persons) have complained several times about the one bulldozer being used for the project but nothing has been done about it.

“Even as we speak now this same bulldozer has broken down so it means they are not working,” he said.

Kwaku Asante, a second-hand clothes dealer says the exercise has affected sales because he doesn't make much as compared to when he was at the station.

“The costumers know where I was so they come there direct. But here, I have to shout and even if you're lucky you go home with at least four or five jeans off the ones I brought,” he said.

At the project site, the Foreman, Kojo Nyang confirmed that the project will be completed in two months, adding that there is nothing they can do at the moment because they are working with the machines they have.

Mr. Nyang said the issue of the bulldozer is a concern to all because that equally delays the work on site. “Most of us spend hours here and we could have done a lot if we had one more.

With the traffic situation worsening there, other road users and pedestrians have been complaining about the attitude of the commercial drivers

But Mr. Kwame Anom will have none of that, expressing disgust with how people perceive drivers.

“People look down upon us and this is unfortunate. Drivers in some countries are important but here in Ghana once you are a driver and get into trouble, everybody descends on you as if you're not a human being,” he said with a sad tone.

“Look at all the vehicles parked here, which of them is in the middle of the road,” he said pointing to me some of the vehicles on the pavements and the bus-stops.

As to why they have refused to use the Kawukudi park as directed by the AMA, Mr. Anom said the place is not only far but dangerous because one can easily be robbed.

Surprisingly, AMA officials were as usual on sight to collect their daily toll of 5,000 cedis.

Source: dailyEXPRESS Newspaper