General News of Thursday, 10 June 2010
Accra, June 10, GNA - SONITRA, a construction firm working on the new interchange close to the entrance of the University of Ghana, has accused the university authorities as derailing plans to complete work on schedule. Mr Eben Gyampo, Resident Engineer of SONITRA, made the accusation during an inspection tour of the facility on Wednesday by Nii Armah Ashietey, Greater Accra Regional Minister.
The tour, which would in subsequent months also focus on other projects in the region, formed part of the Regional Coordinating Council's mandate to inspect, monitor and evaluate projects within its jurisdiction. Mr Gyampo said Authorities of the University had refused to open to traffic, its (UG's) southern exit road, which joins Tettey Quarshie to Madina Road at Okponglo Junction, to lessen pressure on the main entrance and thereby allow construction work to progress.
He said the Authorities opined that opening the road to traffic would pose security threats to the institution and that they needed to install security street lights before opening it.
He said two months after SONITRA had finished work on the road the University Authorities had still not open the southern exit road to traffic because the security street lights have not been fixed.
He said the road was just half a kilometer long, adding for as long as the main entrance remained open to traffic, the company would not be able to undertake construction works on the interchange. Mr Gyampo, therefore, appealed to government to either fix or impress upon the Authorities of the University to fix the lights to end the unnecessary delay being suffered by the project. SONITRA, in November 2006 won the bid to construct the 4.6 kilometer Tettey Quarshie-Madina three-lane dual carriageway scheduled for completion in May 2009.
Nii Ashietey assured SONITRA of government's support to ensure successful completion of the project adding he would make contacts with sector ministries to liaise with the University Authorities on how best to solve the problem. He said roads were "life-blood" for the country's forward match adding anything that would impede their development would and must be nipped in the bud. "The delays on road projects are costing government huge sums of money because contractors review the contract sums to correspond with current times" he said.
The Regional Minister later toured other project sites including the ongoing rehabilitation of 5.6 kilometer Madina-Pantang road, rehabilitation of 3.2 kilometer Kwabenya-ACP-Pokuase road and construction of Mallam-Tettey Quarshie road, all of which had reached various stages of completion. Most of these roads were designed as three-lane and dual carriageway with bridges and overpasses meant to allow for free-flow of traffic in the capital city. Earlier, Nii Ashietey visited the Accra Technical Training Centre (ATTC) to acquaint himself with its operations and challenges to inform how best the RCC could assist it to continue to train young people on skills development. Mr Ameyaw-Baafi, Principal of ATTC, who conducted the Regional Minister round some of the departments of the institution, said even though it had few challenges, the situation was improving because of government's support.