City guards of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) have intensified their efforts at keeping the newly inaugurated Kwame Nkrumah Interchange clean and safe by preventing hawkers from trading along the walkways.
Scores of the guards in mufti have lined up the road beneath the flyovers, forbidding traders from exhibiting their wares or selling.
From the Busy Internet through Obra Spot, Kaneshie Station, Ghana Commercial Bank, Neoplan Station to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), traders and hawkers were blocked from engaging in any activity.
As a result, pedestrians strolled freely, occupying the broad walkways provided by the contractor along the roads, The Ghanaian Times observed when it paid a visit to the interchange.
There were a few hawkers, however, who still managed to sneak through to sell their products such as bracelets, pure water, and coconuts.
Many others took advantage of the serene environment under the flyovers to rest, with some sleeping very close to the thick metal plates attached to the main pillars.
President John Dramani Mahama, on Monday, inaugurated the multi-million Euro Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, tasking city authorities to maintain the serenity, beauty and clean environment at the interchange.
Estimated at a cost of 74 million Euros, the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange is about 100 per cent complete.
The construction of the interchange became necessary when the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, which handled over 84,000 vehicles from the arterial roads and their intersections daily, created heavy traffic in the area.
It connects major roads and other notable points such as Obetsebi Lamptey Circle, African Unity Circle and Danquah Circle to Ring Road Central, Accra North Industrial Road, Nsawam Road, Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, Ring Road West and Akasanoma Road.
Speaking to The Ghanaian Times, one of the city guards, who only gave his name as Quaye, intimated that they were under strict instruction to ensure that traders did not take over the pavements, walkways and lawns.
He said a comprehensive plan had been prepared for them, by which they were to guard the interchange day and night.
Quaye insisted that the team numbering over 100 would not relent in their efforts but will consistently ensure that traders did not turn the place into a market.
Joyce Tutu, a trader, expressed concern about the posture of the guards, urging them to allow them time and space to sell their goods.
According to her, the place should not only serve as a walkway but an avenue for traders to do business.
“We are allowed to sell everywhere in Accra. Even before Tuesday, we were here selling our goods, why have they stopped us from exhibiting our wares?, she quizzed.
Abena Manu, a hawker, called on government to be lenient with them, saying “Christmas is approaching and we need to make enough money for the festivity”.
By Charles Amankwa