Businessman sues GPHA over construction of bridge

Business News of Friday, 16 January 2015

Source: The Chronicle

Richard Anamoo GPHA DG

A Tema based businessman, Michael Yeboah, has dragged the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and ACUMEN CONSTRUCTION, to a Tema High Court, praying for an order to stop the two from constructing a bridge to link a minor road in front of his house.

The plaintiff is also seeking an order directed at the GPHA to produce an independent Traffic Assessment Impact/Report and permit from the Ghana Highway Authority or the Department of Urban Roads Division of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In a statement of claim accompanying the writ, the plaintiff said about some time ago, GPHA, through the ACUMEN CONSTRUCTION commenced the construction of a bridge at a spot directly opposite the gate of his house in order to connect an existing minor road to both the coastal and Meridian roads for the convenience of the ports authority.

According to Michael Yeboah, he complained to the port authorities which halted the project, but work has resumed on the construction of the disputed new bridge.

With the iron works completed, what is now left is the casting of the concrete which the GHPA and the contractor are determined to do, in spite of the dangers the construction of the bridge will pose to the residents and his property as well.

Plaintiff is arguing that the GPHA had neither obtained any independent traffic assessment impact/report for the project nor has it held any prior meeting with Ghana Highway Authority and other relevant statutory bodies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss and obtain their consent before embarking on the project.

He is contending that his life and property are being threatened by the action of the two entities, especially the exact location where the bridge is being constructed. The disputed site is a buffer between the GPHA’s premises and the residential area (Community 2).

Information obtained from a management source of the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) indicates that during the construction of the Port of Tema and the industrial city, the planners created a buffer zone between the Port and the residential communities.

The Chronicle gathered that as the Tema Port was embarking on expansion, GPHA made a request to TDC for the release of the zone. TDC, upon receiving the request released the buffer zone to GPHA.

When The Chronicle contacted the GPHA, a highly placed source intimated that it had presented drawings on the project to Urban Roads, but could not tell whether it was approved or not. The source further disclosed that there was no correspondence to EPA with regard to this project.

Meanwhile, reports from the residents of Tema Community Two, BBC area, suggest that unless the port authority does something urgent about the insanitary conditions prevailing in the BBC area, there could be an outbreak of epidemic disease.

This is as a result of the influx of persons from the land-locked countries – Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger – who are heavy duty transporters who park on the zone to wait for the uploading of their trucks. There are no places of convenience for the transporters who attend to nature’s call anywhere they find convenient.