Preserve Pokuase Interchange

The general indiscipline among some drivers on the Accra Nsawam road hasbegun to undermine the quality or integrity and beauty of thefour-tier Pokuase Interchange, the biggest in West Africa.

Even before the project could be completed, some recalcitrant drivers have started spilling diesel, jerking vehicles, leaving breakdownvehicles or fixing them on the road, acts which have become a daily phenomenon on thecountry’s other roads.

A story published on page 15 this paper’s Thursday edition vividly captures the picture of the indiscipline of drivers affecting the country’s roads and causing road accidents, claiming the lives of innocent citizens.

For instance, the crash barriers, retaining walls, and street lights on the newly constructed road have been destroyed by some recalcitrant drivers.

The Ghanaian Times is worried that before the Pokuase Interchange could be completed, drivers are destroying its furniture.

Such furniture has to be restored by the contractor at a cost to him before the road could be handed over to the government. So far, the country has expended whooping $84 million on it.

The Ghanaian Timesbelieves thisshould be a source of concern to the Ministry of Roads and Highways and other stakeholders in the sector.

The Pokuase Interchange is an important national asset which must be protected to ensure it lasts long. It is an international route, which helps to link Ghana to the Sahelian regions of Burkina Faso, Mali andNiger to boost trade between Ghana and those countries and national revenue mobilisation as these landlocked nations use our ports at a cost to them.

The Pokuase Interchange can become tourist attraction, hence the need to preserve its beauty and integrity, in terms of its size and architectural ingenuity.

 The interchange could be said to have been constructed to solve the problem of gridlock on the Ofankor-Nsawam stretch of the Accra-Kumasi highway to ease that pressure on Nsawam and its adjoining communities but drivers are undermining that objective by doing their own thing on the road.

Thus, travelling from Nsawam and adjoining communities to Accra has become a hell.  Ordinarily, a journey from Nsawam to Circle,which should not take more than an hour, sometimes takes two-and-a-half hours.

Not only doesthe long stay in traffic affect productivity and increase the cost of doing business, but it also affects the health of workers.

The Ghanaian Times therefore entreats the Ministry of Roads and Highways to quickly move in to address the problem.

In this regard, the Motor Traffic and Transport Department of the Ghana Police Service must deploy personnel on the road to ensure that the new facility and lives were protected.

A dedicated lane must be reserved for the long-articulated trucks that ply from Ghana to the Sahelian regions.

The paper suggests that drivers who cause destruction to any of the country’s roads through careless driving must prosecuted and made to pay for the damages.

While at it, the Ghanaian Times suggeststhat the contractor working on the road should provide enough signs to warn drivers ofimpending dangers on the road.

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