Regional News of Monday, 24 March 2014
Angry, stranded and frustrated travellers who say they cannot access the services of the Ferry at Senchi to cross the Volta River, are demanding answers from the authorities.
This is because the process of ticketing is so slow that it takes more than one hour to secure one to board the Ferry. The Adomi Bridge, the only route by which commuters can cross the river to the Volta Region and beyond, has been closed to both vehicular and human movements for maintenance work that will take at least two years.
Long-winding queues of vehicles stretch over one kilometre distance right from the junction to the Ferry.
The situation is compounded by the insufficient ticketing booths as there are only two of such booths on either side of the lake which created frustrating scenes among the hundreds of travelers on Saturday.
To manage the situation and avoid the congestion from stretching onto the main Akosombo highway, operators of the pontoon created a meandering route at the car park.
Passengers returning from social activities - mostly funerals- as well as traders on Saturday were left to wander about for close to two hours before they had the opportunity to board a pontoon and cross over.
It takes not more than five minutes to transport vehicles across the river for them to continue their journey but it take hours to obtain a ticket and board the pontoon.
The operators, apparently overwhelmed by the sheer volume of traffic appeared as frustrated and helpless as the travellers.
Driver indiscipline abounded in the area but the team of police personnel stationed at strategic locations did a good job maintaining order.
Some commercial bus drivers told Myjoyonline.com travelling to that part of the country has become more expensive now than before as they pay a minimum of Gh¢10 compared to the Gh¢1.00 previously to cross the Adomi Bridge. They threatened to increase transport fares to make up for the ferry charges.
"I don't know if this is to help us or make our situation worse," an irritated driver told Myjoyonline.com.
Another driver said: "I used to pay Gh¢1.00 to cross over the Adomi Bridge but I am now charged Gh¢12 for my 4x4 vehicle to be ferried across and this is too much".
On Sunday, commuters were forced to spend the night in their vehicles as the two pontoons broke down due to what officials say is the receding water level in the river.
There are no places of convenience causing great discomfort to the already frustrated travellers.
The pontoons were fixed later for transportation to resume late in the evening, Joy News has learnt.
Frustrated driver pulls and stirs at the 'annoying' traffic.
Competence and capacity to manage
Responding to the development on the Super Morning Show, Monday, Deputy Roads and Highways Minister, Isaac Adjei-Mensah said the Ghana Highway Authority has received the reports and has dispatched a team to ascertain the seriousness of the situation.
"This [situation] is new to us but it is being managed properly," Mr. Adjei-Mensah stated.
He dismissed suggestions that the authorities did not plan well enough, saying the challenges were anticipated and the GHA has detailed plans to deal with them.
"When these challenges occur we will deal with them...a lot of planning was done about it and the GHA has the capacity to deal with it...We are capable and competent enough to handle this situation. It is being managed properly and monitored as well," he assured.