No show on Tema Industrial Area-Kpone road – 11 Months after sod-cutting ceremony
Almost 11 months after the sod was cut for the reconstruction of the 7.2-kilometre Tema Industrial Area to Kpone road, work is yet to commence.
The project, when completed, is expected to improve the capacity and quality of the road commensurate with the size of tax revenue generated by the government from industries in the enclave.
The gulleys on the stretch currently has turned it into a narrow way for articulated trucks and bulk road vehicles (BRV) that cart goods on a daily basis on that stretch.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, declared at the sod-cutting event on August 2, 2020, that the construction works would be completed within a 24-month period.
But nothing much has happened since the sod-cutting event.
As of last Monday, the deep gaping gullies had only been filled with mud leaving the surface slippery as a result of the recent rains.
Amid the apparent hazard, drivers plying the route have had to meander through the muddy gullies in a slow-motion pace.
The Daily Graphic gathered that the delay in the reconstruction had been occasioned by an effort to reconfigure the road’s design to accommodate the underground petroleum pipelines said to be in danger of being affected if the current design was implemented.
A manager of one of the oil and gas installations in the enclave, who sought anonymity, expressed fear that there could be dire consequences in the event of an accident involving a vehicle transporting petroleum products on the stretch.
“This is an enclave that is host to power and petroleum installations, and I am afraid we may not be able to contain the consequences in the event of a disaster within the zone,” he told the Daily Graphic.
Another manager in one of the industries in the area, Mr David Koomson, said the condition of the road had remained in the same state for over 13 years and that the August 2020 sod-cutting event brought some hope “that at long last calls for our road to be rehabilitated has finally received attention”.
“This road needlessly creates accidents and vehicular traffic of oil tankers, trailers and passenger vehicles, thereby creating so much inconvenience, and it is unfortunate that since that ceremony, not even a tip of laterite has been poured on the road,” Mr Koomson lamented.
He said he expected that the government, in its efforts to drive the industrial infrastructure agenda, would facilitate the construction of good roads because they remained key to industrial parks and the siting of factories and businesses.
Meanwhile, members of the Kpone Organised Youth for Development say they are disappointed over the “no show” with regard to the construction works.
A youth activist and resident of Kpone, Mr Dennis Adzokacher, expressed disappointment at the turn of events, saying it had not been different from several electioneering promises by governments to the community.
“In 2020 when the sod-cutting was being done, we had doubts because it was not the first time a government was making an attempt towards the reconstruction of the stretch. However, we saw the equipment of the contractors on the road which gave us an initial hope, but later realised the equipment were moved a week after the event,” Mr Adzokacher said.
Calls and messages to the Director of Urban Roads, Alhaji Abass Awolu, under whose domain the project falls, and the contractor, Mr James Osei Brown of Joshob Construction, were not answered.
The enclave, which hosts major petroleum pipelines used for transporting products from the Tema Port to several installations in the enclave, including the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), the Tema Tank Farm, Fuel Trade’s Liquefied Petroleum Terminal, as well as the power producing companies, is said to generate huge tax revenue for the government.
The Daily Graphic understands that an average of GH¢50,000 is generated in tax revenue on a daily basis from about 250 fuel tankers that cart products from the various petroleum depots located within the enclave.
Industry managers, regular commuters and residents had expressed the hope that there would be an immediate start of the project to fulfil the call by the various interested communities to ensure sustained security and development.