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02.05.2009 Regional News

Assembly member kicks against siting of LPG filling station

By The Chronicle
Assembly member kicks against siting of LPG filling station
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The decision by the Management of Mamba Gas Company Limited, to construct a Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) filling station at the Dichemso roundabout, a suburb of Kumasi, has been met with fierce resistance by residents of the area, led by the Assembly Member, Mr. K wabena Nsenkyire.

The Assembly Member and residents of the community have threatened to stage a demonstration against• the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), if it gives approval for the company to go ahead with the construction of the LPG filling station.

The agitation of the Assembly Member and concerned citizens is that the area earmarked for the project is waterlogged, and that siting of the LPG filling station would pose a serious safety and environmental hazard to the people living in the vicinity.

When The Chronicle visited the area, the piece of land had been cleared, and construction works about to begin.

Information available to The Chronicle indicates that even though the developer, one Mr. Hartsford Mark Anthony, who is also the Managing Director of the Mamba Gas Company Limited, has secured the necessary approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ghana Fire Service and the Kumasi Metropolitan Development Unit, he was yet to be issued with a building permit and final approval from the Kumasi Planning Committee, headed by the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE).

An official of the Metro Development Control Unit of the KMA who confirmed this to the paper in an interview, said the company's application for a license and building permit, was received by the assembly somewhere last year, and that both the Technical Planning and Statutory Committees of the KMA had considered the application, and had presented its report, awaiting final endorsement by the MCE.

According to him, upon receiving the application, the two committees, made up of Building Inspectors, Metro Medical Director and the Metro Engineering Department, were tasked to assess the prerequisite for the acquisition of the land for projects of such nature, which include the social and the environmental impacts, the land tenure system, and whether such land had been earmarked for Light Industrial Purposes, after which they would present their recommendations to the MCE, adding that in the case of Mamba Gas Company, all the necessary preconditions had been met.

He however, indicated that even though members of the committee had every right to protest against the construction of the gas filing station, they must officially petition the assembly, giving practical reasons why a permit must not be granted to the developer.

"They need to convince the assembly with practical reasons, as to why it would not be safe to build a gas filling station, and these reasons must outweigh findings from the technical and statutory committee of the assembly," he explained.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Company has refused to be drawn into the controversy, and asked this reporter, in a telephone interview, to speak to the appropriate regulatory authorities.

Mr. Hartsford said he would not want to comment on the agitations by the community, since according to him, he believes that he is dealing with the right agencies which are competent enough to determine whether the place is safe for the construction of the gas filling station or not.

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