General News of Friday, 20 January 2017
The Students Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has raised eyebrows over the existence of a filling station less than three metres from the university.
The council considers the operations of Strategic Energy Limited (SEL), a filling station located within the old Asanka Locals premises and inaugurated on January 12, 2017, as a danger to the over 11,000 students and residents of the university community.
Addressing the media at a press conference in Accra yesterday, the SRC President, Mr Sidney Quartey, said attempts made through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct an assessment of the situation and close down the station to avert any possible future catastrophe had proved futile.
“The fuel station is a walkway for about 3,000 students on a daily basis, and about five metres behind the filling station is a mosque. Also, three metres from the mosque is an ultra-modern 3,000 seater auditorium under construction. Again, about 10 metres away from the filling station is the student lecture block complex that holds over 10,000 students in a day,” he said.
According to him, the response from the EPA indicated that the agency had issued a permit to SEL to construct and operate a fuel station, not a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facility, upon obtaining the necessary building and development permits from the La-Nkwantanang Madina Municipal Assembly (LaMMA), adding: “Consultations were made with the residents’ association of zones 12 and 8 of the old Asanka Locals Residential Area” and a green light was given by them.
Mr Quartey explained that the agitation was necessary, as the SRC realised that the students “are sitting on a time bomb waiting to explode”.
He, therefore, cautioned the EPA, the National Petroleum Authority (NPA), as well as the LaMMA, to take the necessary measures to avoid picketing by the students, adding that the SRC would embark on demonstrations to register their protest until the various authorities acted.
Making reference to recent disasters involving fuel stations, he said the country could not afford to continually lose its citizens when there could be measures to avert such occurrences.