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24.01.2008 General News

Road Projects In Crisis

By Daily Guide
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The Minister for Transportation, Mr. Godfrey Tangu Bayon has attributed the elays in the execution of many of the road projects in the country, to the “slow progress of work by some contractors.”

He bemoaned the lack of commitment by some contractors, stating that projects which were expected to be completed were now behind schedule, with only a small percentage of work completed.

The minister, who was answering questions in Parliament yesterday, said warning letters have been issued to the contractors to expedite work on the projects.

He added that after persistent warnings, his ministry was in the process of terminating the contracts.

Citing examples, he said the contractors, who were awarded the contract for the Amadurase-Aworoso, Postin Junction-Awomberew, and Kojo-Yentumi-Obuobi feeder roads in the Ashanti region have been sent the said letters.

He added however that the contract for the Tonkoase No1-Kwaku-Adu feeder road, also in the Ashanti region, has been terminated due to non performance by the contractor.

His ministry, together with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and the Environment would therefore take over the project for future development.
Still addressing road issues, the minister cautioned that the carriage of container cargo could be very dangerous if regulations regarding loading and fasting are not strictly adhered to.

According to him, during transportation, containers were under stress from braking and acceleration, and the load should therefore be correctly distributed in the container and well secured or fastened by twist locks provided at the four ends of the trailer to minimize possibility of tipping off the container during haulage.

He noted that the vehicle operator should ensure that all devices for securing the load were effective, and all ropes, chains and straps were fastened down, container locking handles secured, and drop sides and tail gates fastened.

He reassured that provisions have been made in the Road Traffic Act 683 and reinforced in the Road Traffic Regulations which have been forwarded to Cabinet for consideration and onward submission to Parliament for ratification.

The National Road Safety Commission, according to the Transport minister, would continue to collaborate and coordinate with law enforcement agencies (MTTU and DVLA) to enforce traffic regulations regarding the carriage of containers.

He added that the National Road Safety Commission, as part of its road safety management strategy in 2006-2010, mounted vigorous education campaigns targeted at Haulage Companies, Consignees, drivers and general public on the risk associated with improper security of containers on trailers of heavy goods vehicles.

Later, the parliamentarians expressed serious concern about the level of environmental degradation nationwide, and called on all to get involved in fighting the menace.

The MPs, who were speaking in reaction to a statement presented by the MP for Ahafo-Ano and Chairman of the Parliamentary select committee on Environment, Science and Technology, Kwame Owusu Frimpong, said there was the urgent need to take remedial measures to correct the damage done to the environment.

Hon. Frimpong, who started his statement with biblical references to the utmost significance of the environment, said the effects of the massive degradation were climate change, water shortage, pollution and a warming planet.

He called for effective education and action to combat environmental destruction.

“I wish to recommend that every community replicate the small holding forests or sacred groves as in the Central Region of Ghana on equity basis of sharing accrued resources for partners who include land leasers, traditional authorities and other agencies.

Also, I call for urban forests and parks to ensure biodiversity in cities and big towns.”

He reminded Ghanaians in general about the need to be cautious about the use of fire as the country was currently in the Harmattan season.

“Finally, let all Ghanaians pray for early rains and pray also that our dear country endeavours to adopt the technology of cloud and rain seeding to harvest rain whenever needed to avoid prolonged dry periods which is tantamount to bushfires,” he stated.Sylvanus Nana Kumi

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