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18.05.2005 General News

Residents angry with GHA Director

By Chronicle

... Over unauthorised development Kumasi, May 18, Chronicle -- The insistence of Mr. Agyemang Badu, the Director of Finance of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), to develop a building plot, without the requisite permit from the Kumasi Statutory Planning Committee and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, has incurred the wrath of some residents. About 15 concerned residents of the 6th Crescent at Atasomanso, a suburb of Kumasi, has vehemently protested against the unauthorized development in the residential area.

Agyeman Badu is said to be developing Plot 15 in the vicinity without approval from the Kumasi Planning Committee.

The said plot leased to one Comfort Ama Serwaa for residential purposes, has not been rezoned but is being developed into a four-storey school building.

Agyemang Badu is also abusing his office as a director of GHA by causing the use of state resources for his private project.

Mr. J.K. Arthur, the Ashanti regional accountant of the GHA, using resources of the GHA, is backing Madam Ama Akyaa, who is allegedly fronting for Agyeman Badu, in developing the said plot.

The Chronicle has gathered that Arthur is being used to flout the planning regulations of the KPC.

Acting on the instructions of his boss, Arthur uses GHA vehicles to cart sand and other building materials to the site on daily basis to speed up work at the site without restraint.

When The Chronicle visited the site on March 29, this year, a GHA Tipper Truck with registration number GV 4098 D had got stuck in the ground at the site while tipping off some sand, causing great damage to the vehicle bought, fuelled and maintained with the taxpayer's money.

The residents have since August, last year, registered their protest against the project but the developer cannot be restrained.

According to sources at the Metro Engineering Unit of the KMA, the Regional Minister, Mr. S.K. Boafo, has, upon a formal complaint, ordered that further development of the plot be halted.

But Madam Afua Gyamfua, spokesperson for the concerned residents, through her solicitor, Mr. Egblogbe Anaglate, said inspite of several protests made to the Town and Country Planning department, the Public Complaints Committee of KMA and the Regional Coordinating Council, the unauthorized development is rather proceeding with enthusiasm in breach of planning regulations with impunity.

They believe development of the land into a school, instead of residential purposes, would be a nuisance to the residents in the neighbourhood, as it would encroach upon their privacy.

The doors of the proposed architectural design would be open on other compounds, the residents complained.

The residents, who believed some KMA officials are giving the developer a backing, have also appealed to the Engineering department and the Building Inspectorate units of the KMA to ensure that the proper thing is done to protect their rights under the law.

Chronicle investigations revealed that the application for rezoning of the plot in question has been before the KPC the past one and half years. By regulation, housing developers are required to obtain development permits from the Town and Country Planning department and building permits from the KMA.

The development permit allows the developer to proceed with the approved type of development (residential or otherwise) at a particular location.

Building permits are also required for ensuring that KMA scrutinizes the architectural and engineering details of the design of the proposed development as well as its potential impact on the surrounding environment.

When these details are checked and approved the developer is required to pay a development fee before proper development commences.

In view of these provisions and regulations, Mr. Asiedu Poku, Metro Director of the Town and Country Planning department says it is not proper for any development to go on without the appropriate permit.

He confirmed also that nobody has been permitted to develop the said Plot 15 at Section 3 of 6th Crescent at Atasomanso for residential or commercial purposes.

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