Kumasi Traditional Council orders demolition of structures for completion of market project

Author: Donald Ato Dapatem
Some of the buildings to be demonlished
Some of the buildings to be demonlished

The Kumasi Traditional Council has ordered the immediate demolition of all structures, including a hotel, impeding work on the Kejetia Redevelopment Project in Kumasi.

It described as unacceptable and said the situation where such buildings were situated on main drainage and utility systems for the project could stall the completion of the $298 million project.

The council gave an assurance that owners of those structures would duly be compensated.

Inspection

The Bantamahene, Baffuor Owusu Asare Amankwatia VI, gave the order when he led more than 12 chiefs from the council, some members of the Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) and owners of the buildings to inspect the project at Kejetia.

He explained that after a court ruling in favour of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), the Asantehene also met with the owners of the structures; they, therefore, arrived at a decision that all such buildings must give way for the completion of the project which started in 2015.

At the site, engineers of the Brazilian firm constructing the market, Messrs Contracta Engenharia Limited, conducted the chiefs and security heads round the facility and explained how the buildings sited on sections of the project had stalled the completion of the work originally scheduled for January 2018

A Kumasi High Court last week ruled in favour of the KMA against some of the owners of the structures. Some of the cases had dragged on for over 17 months.

Observation

The Bantamahene also observed that some of the buildings had blocked some watercourses in the area and that if not demolished; it could cause unbearable flooding with devastating consequences in future.

He told the media that some of the owners of the buildings brought their issues to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, for settlement and wondered why they still flouted the orders of the Otumfuo with their continued stay.

Baffuor Amankwatia further noted that due to the manner in which some of the buildings were sited, the contractors would be unable to execute the project to specification.

He also said when completed, traders who have been complaining of lack of space to ply their trade would now have enough room to operate to improve on their well-being.

Commendation

The architect for the project, Mr Sampson Awuah, commended the chiefs for their intervention and said if those impediments were cleared; the project could be completed within the next seven months.

He said the main building in contention was stalling the project because it was situated on an area where the contractors intended to use for the installation of utilities for the project.

According to him, the project would accommodate a total of 8,200 traders when completed.