Mixed Feelings about CCMA’s decongestion exercise

A cross section of residents in Cape Coast have expressed mixed feelings about the ongoing decongestion exercise being undertaken by the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly (CCMA).

While some think it is a step in the right direction, others are of the view that it is just a nine- day wonder.

In an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Alfred Tsibu, a teacher, lauded the action saying it has brought decency and discipline on the streets as drivers are afraid of being arrested for traffic offences.

Madam Ekua Gyaakye, a seamstress said the discomfort and fear of being run over by a vehicle at Kotokuraba and along the commercial street is no more because the struggle for space between vehicles, humans and wares have reduced, paving way for free movement.

Mrs Elsie Benson said the heavy traffic that make drivers sometimes avoid the Kingsway-Kotokuraba road and Abura, has reduced making it easy for her to get a taxi to her destination anytime.

Mr Kingsley Baidoo, a taxi driver said the exercise has reduced indiscriminate packing of vehicle in the Metropolis and minimised accidents.

Aunty Cecilia, a trader along the roadside at Kotokuraba, however said the exercise has interrupted her business activities as she has been recording low sales since it started on Monday.

She said her customers cannot locate her.

When GNA asked her if she knew it was not appropriate to sell by the street, she said she has no choice since she was made to vacate her stall ahead of the reconstruction of the new Kotokuraba market.

She called on the Government to speed up the reconstruction works in order not to throw traders out of business.

Uncle Tee, a driver said the exercise would be a nine- day wonder if measures are not put in place to relocate the displaced traders.

He recounted similar exercises by the Assembly, which was short-lived and advised the CCMA not to play politics with the exercise.

Mr Kwame Gyan, a displaced driver complained about the effect of the exercise on livelihood and called on the Assembly to create lorry stations for the affected persons.

He accused the task force of not sanctioning owners of private vehicles who are equally guilty of violating road traffic regulations.

When the GNA contacted the Information Officer of CCMA, Mr Nicholas Addo he denied the accusation that the task force is being bias.

He explained that a number of private vehicles have been towed and their owners subsequently fined.

He said the former Elmina station, close to the Kotokuraba Market was allocated to the traders but they abandoned the place and moved into the street.

Mr Addo said the Assembly has consulted the various political activists not to coax their foot soldiers into interrupting the exercise.

He said a monitoring team has been established to monitor the success of the exercise.

He called on the citizenry to cooperate with the Assembly’s task force to make the Metropolis a safe place to live in.

The CCMA task force made up of the Cape Coast National Road Safety Commission, CCMA City Guard with the Police offering security on Monday commenced a decongestion exercise to enforce road traffic regulations in the Metropolis.

The exercise saw the closure of illegal taxi stations and loading points at Tantri, Mfantsipim Junction, Oguaa Akoto Shopping Centre Area, Abura and Kingsway along the commercial street as well as the clearing of the street and pavements of traders and wares. GNA

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