For once in a very long time you will be able to walk around the inner and outer peripheries of the Takoradi Market Circle without having to be watchful where to step alas you step on either vegetables or for that matter, fish displayed on the floor.
For drivers who had to carefully meander their way round the circle that often nightmarish experience, is over, at least for now.
These are the fruits of the ongoing decongestion exercise currently being undertaken by the Sekondi – Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly.
Mayor Anthony KK Sam with 110 security personnel made up of the military, police and metro guards are embarking on a decongestion exercise to rid illegal traders and also demolish unapproved structures in the metropolis.
The exercise took off early Tuesday January 16, 2018 from the Akroma Plaza area.
The team – with a backhole machine – worked their way from there to the Central Business District of Takoradi.
Structures that were found to have been erected inappropriately were demolished.
Mr. KK Sam in an interview with a team of journalists who accompanied him insisted no illegal trader and structure will be spared.
He sounded a ward of caution to shop owners who have allegedly rented out their frontage to be careful as they will come after them.
“We also want to appeal to store owners who have given their frontage to people whether for rent or whatever to other traders to clear them. You go to a shop selling musical instruments but at its frontage someone will be selling onions. That is not compatible. That means you have given your frontage out. In such an instance how do you expect shoppers to come to your shop to buy when your frontage is blocked” the Mayor asked.
“There are others who have used metal mesh to extend their shops onto the pavement. Please, you have to remove them. If you don’t and we come around we will surely destroy it”.
Mr. KK Sam also said “we are telling those making noise, the preachers, that their level is too high. Please try to be within the permissible decibels. If you don’t and we come around tomorrow then we have to stop you from disturbing the peace of the general public”.
“Those around Kwesimentsim trotro area, you are using the road as a station; right in the middle of the road. This cannot be allowed. You are disturbing traders who have their stores there. They don’t have anywhere to park. When people come to do shopping no car can come and pick their items. So that place is not a station. So you have to move”.
The assembly will for the next four weeks vigorously undertake the exercise.
After, they will station city guards at vantage points to ensure that the “hawkers” in particular do not come back.
Now, as expected there were those who felt the assembly was harassing them.
Some resident who had some parts of their building demolished argued they were not given ample time to remedy what they had done.
One resident threatened to burn down the backhole being used for the exercise because the assembly was being selective.
Meanwhile residents of Sekondi – Takoradi are applauding the Mayor for his bold decision.
However, their challenge is whether the assembly will be able to sustain the exercise.
“Mind you this will be the second time this Mayor – KK Sam – is embarking on a decongestion exercise, so I wonder whether this time around the exercise will be successful, one resident said