Date published: February 5, 2014
Stephen Odoi-Larbi reporting
The Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Works and Housing has backed the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) for demolishing houses at Adjei Kojo near Ashiaman in the Tema West Constituency.
The decision of the committee was based on documentary proof submitted to it by the TDC after the former had called for an inquest into the matter.
The committee, The Chronicle learned, was left with no option than to side with the TDC after painstakingly going through all the documents submitted to it.
The committee, chaired by Hon. David Tetteh Assumeng, MP for Shai-Osudoku, now believes the destroyed properties were developed illegally.
For the past two weeks, the TDC in collaboration with some security agencies, embarked on demolishing houses in the above mentioned locality with the aim of reclaiming those lands.
Over 150 structures were demolished, leaving some 700 families homeless and at the mercy of the weather.
The action has since drawn mixed reactions from the public and civil society organizations, who described the action as inhuman.
Vice Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Frank Adu-Blay Koffie, in an interview with The Chronicle said the TDC proved beyond reasonable doubts that their action was warranted, after producing several eviction notices to buttress their stance.
He said the Corporation told the Committee that several meetings with the developers to evict from the premises were unheeded, hence their action to embark on the demolition exercise.
The TDC, he noted, informed the Committee that prior to their action, they requested from the developers to submit their legal titles to the portions they were developing for assessment but to no avail.
Following their refusal to submit documentary proof about the legality of their occupancy, the TDC was alarmed and became adamant, that anyone claiming to have legal documents to land in the area was in possession of forged documents.
According to the TDC, several notices to stop the encroachers was met with hostility with some occupants going to the extent of engaging land guards to protect their properties and in the process, brutalized some TDC staff.
To Mr. Koffi, once the Corporation had secured court rulings in their favour, it had the right to reclaim the said piece of land from the illegal developers. The said piece of land forms part of lands given to the TDC in 1952.
“The action of the TDC is in the right direction,” he said, but argued that the committee would engage the Member of Parliament in the area, Irene Naa Torshie Addo and encroachers whose properties were destroyed before presenting their report to the House.
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