2 Months of ban on pragya in Kumasi CBD
The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) in July, this year, restricted the operation of all tricycles (rickshaws) within the central business district (CBD) of Kumasi.
The directive formed part of the transport reorganisation exercise in the metropolis to decongest the CBD and allow for free flow of both human and vehicular movements.
The ban, initially, restricted the rickshaw riders and this led to a confrontation between the security guards of the assembly and the operators of these rickshaws.
Two months into the implementation of the ban, the assembly believes it is yielding the needed results, as some of the congestion experienced in the CBD is no more and the streets have become freer for easy movement of vehicles, particularly in and around Adum.
That notwithstanding, some few recalcitrant riders who tried to venture into the restricted areas have been arrested and made to pay a fine of GH¢300 before their rickshaws are released to them
The Public Relations Officer of the KMA, Henrietta Afia Aboagye, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that “so far, the ban has been very effective., a lot of them are complying with the restriction and others too are flouting the ban.
She explained that comparatively, those complying were more than the recalcitrant ones.
“Those who are not complying, when we arrest them, we impound their tricycle and they are made to pay a fine of GH¢300 before the tricycle is released to them,” she stated.
Meanwhile, the assembly has inaugurated a 77-Man task force, made up of city guards, the police and the military, who patrol the CBD to ensure compliance from the tricycle operators.
However, the tricycle operators believe that the task force from the assembly is enforcing the ban arbitrarily.
The Public Relations Officer of the Tricycle Riders Union, Sidi Al-Asbat, said although the assembly told their members that they could work from Asafo to Donkirk near the central market, “the task force has started arresting our members around those areas.
Even around Roman Hill, which is not part of the CBD, they are arresting them for working around these areas.”
He said the manner in which the assembly and its agents were going about the implementation could result in a confrontation.
“As leaders, we have been trying hard to calm our members down and ask them to comply with the directive to enable them to also earn a living,” he stated.
He said the directive by the assembly had only shifted the congestion to other parts of the city, as most of the riders have now relocated to areas where they were allowed to operate.
Mr Al-Asbat said the ban had affected the members, as many of them could hardly make ends meet these days.
He said about 65 per cent of the over 13,000 riders within the Kumasi city operated within the restricted zone and “now that they have been banned from working in those areas, they have joined the other 4,000 in their areas of operation and are now struggling over the few passengers and goods there.”
He appealed to the assembly and its task force to be more human in their dealing with riders and not to try to use brute force, which could result in a confrontation between the task force and the riders.
Kwaku Ntiamoah, a resident of Kumasi, told the Daily Graphic that the ban on tricycles within the CBD had come with some challenges, particularly to those who patronise their services.
“For instance, the other day, I was in a hurry to meet someone at Asafo and needed a Pragya but could not get one.
“There was a trotro available but it would not take me to my exact location and it is one thing I miss about them,” he said.
For another resident, Ama Amankwah, the ban has not been that effective, “though they no longer ply the Adum areas, for me, the traffic is still the same.
It is better to allow them to operate to make life easier for the passengers.”