Construction work on the Marine Drive Project is expected to begin by the end of the second quarter this year, the Community Liaison Officer of the Project, Mr Herbert Akai Nettey, has said.
According to him, the project was delayed by efforts to relocate the Centre for National Culture (CNC), otherwise known as the Art Centre.
Mr Nettey, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times at the office of the Coordinator of the Project Management Unit in Accra on Tuesday, said evacuation process was 90 per cent complete.
“We expect that if all things go as plan, within the second quarter of this year, we should have some actual works started on site,” he added.
He explain that contrary to claims by operators at CNC that the relocation would affect their performances, the CNC and the Ministry of Tourism have agreed that a place should be secured for them (operators) at the National Theatre.
Mr Nettey refuted claims that an ultimatum was given to the traders to relocate, stating that the letter issued to the leadership of the CNC was misunderstood.
“The letter that stated that if this relocation is done by the end of January, it will be appreciated, didn’t mean that we are moving them out in January,” he said.
Mr Nettey said that the relocation of CNC to the Ghana House was temporal, and that the CNC would be featured in the Marine Drive Project.
Mr Nettey said funds were being mobilised for the completion of 728 stores at Kawukudi, Nima, for traders at CNC, who would be affected by the execution of the project.
“The CNC regional director will go with my team to inspect the fourth floor of Ghana House and give us the demarcation, land spatial use, then we would ask the contractor to provide specifications according to their needs,” he said.
The Co-ordinator of the Federation of Handicraft Producers Dealers and Exporters Association, made up of the five associations of traders at the Arts Centre, Mr Bright Antwi, commended the government for initiating the project.
He called on the government to step up efforts to relocate members to Kawukudi since the current situation at the Art Centre was not conducive for them.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR