22.11.2007 General News

Sunyani Municipal Assembly prevents Metro buses from operating

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Staff of Sunyani Municipal Assembly on Tuesday used cement blocks and other heavy materials to barricade the main entrance to the Civic Centre in Sunyani to prevent management of Metro Mass Transport (MMT) from operating.

The centre has been the company's main terminal in the Brong Ahafo Region where passengers travelling from Sunyani to other towns including Nkoranza, Techiman, Dormaa Ahenkro, Berekum and outlying villages boarded the buses.

Passengers who thronged the centre on Wednesday morning to board buses to their destinations were shocked when they realized that the place was empty and entrances barricaded with metals, cement blocks and wooden structures.

The situation has forced the management to convey the stranded passengers to its main terminal near the assembly's offices to board the buses.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Mr Fifi Hanson, Sunyani Municipal Traffic Manager of MMT admitted that the assembly had issued several warnings to the management to operate from Nana Bosoma Central Market "but it is unfortunate that it has forcibly ejected us from the centre".

Mr Hanson said the management at a meeting appealed to the assembly to rehabilitate and provide a police post and lighting system at the market, because the place was noted 'as an alleged den for armed robbers, Indian hemp peddlers and smokers and therefore not safe for their operations'.

He noted that in addition, the three entrances to the market were in a curve and not convenient for the MMT buses to ply, saying "we are prepared to operate at the market when the necessary measures for safety are provided".

Mr Lawrence Fosu, Point Officer of MMT said lack of places of convenience at the market was a problem, adding: "It is common knowledge that thieves hide in the bushes near the market and rob passengers of their belongings because of the poor security and lighting system."

Most of the stranded passengers deplored the action of the assembly and requested that the necessary measures and facilities were provided at the market for the smooth operations of the 'affordable Kufour buses'.

When Ghana News Agency contacted Mr Kwame Twumasi-Awuah, Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, on phone, he said he was in Accra and would hold a press conference on the issue on his return to Sunyani.

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