Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
THE Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has set February 2011 for its biggest ever demolition exercise that would affect 70 houses in the Atafoa Extension and Aboahia Planning Area of the city.
According to the KMA, the affected houses some of which have been completed were located in areas earmarked for roads, schools, police stations, post offices and fire service stations among others.
About six months ago, the KMA embarked on a major exercise, which saw 50 houses being destroyed because they were illegally located.
Property owners involved in the impending exercise had already refuted the KMA claim that they were illegal developers, arguing that they had genuine permits relating to the lands in question.
However at a news conference in Kumasi, the Public Relations Officer of the KMA, Mr Clement Kegeri, said none of the developers had the legal documents to build.
He pointed out that the planning scheme of Kumasi took into account locations.
“It is on the basis of this that every developer must first of all obtain building permit from the city authorities before putting up any structure,” Kegeri said.
Giving the genesis of the planned exercise, the spokesman said about four months ago it came to the attention of the KMA that some people had started putting up buildings haphazardly at Atafoa and Aboahia.
Mr Kegeri stated that the illegal constructions had even affected the major road linking the Barekese road to the Offinso road.
“KMA took a bold decision to demolish all those houses to pave the way for the construction of the road.”
Mr Kegeri said few months later the KMA’s attention was drawn to the illegal developments going on at Atafoa and Aboahia through a letter written by the Akyempimhene of Kumasi, Oheneba Adusei Poku.
He continued that upon the information the KMA Development Control Unit went to survey the sites and realised that the structures were located in areas earmarked for public places.
It decided to take action to demolish them.
“It is important to know that the decision to demolish the houses is to serve the interest of these same people who are building in the area.
“KMA is the same institution that will be blamed if we allow a community to spring up without public amenities,” he stressed.