The fight against the setting up of unauthorised fuel stations embarked upon by the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Mahama Ayariga, was extended to Kumasi yesterday where he ordered the closure of three fuel stations in the metropolis.
He also asked for the demolition of a vehicle service station and ordered the suspension of work on many others.
The minister blamed the increasing rate at which fuel stations were being sited at wrong and dangerous places on the failure of some public officials to act decisively, especially those at the Town and Country Planning Department, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
At Suntreso, media personnel covering the minister’s tour queried the EPA staff present as to why the agency had issued a permit for a fuel station to be built close to the South Suntreso Hospital, the Prempeh College and a residential area.
There was an electricity transformer about 10 metres away from the underground tank of the Unity Fuel Station.
The facilities which were closed down included the Airport Roundabout Shell Fuel Station, the Benab Oil Fuel Station and the Universal Oil Fuel Station, both at Aboabo Nima.
Their owners are said not to have obtained permits to build the facilities. The vehicle service station was sitting on two different drains at the Islamic School at Ampabame.
The minister also ordered work to be halted on the construction of a gas filling station directly opposite the Islamic Senior High School, saying the nation could not afford to play with the lives of the 2,700 students of the school.
“How do we evacuate 2,700 students when there is any disaster? Even the newly constructed concrete bunker built to house the gas tanks is leaking,” Mr Ayariga noted.
Shocked at how a watercourse at Akwatia Line was being reclaimed for the construction of a fuel station, the minister asked the owners how they would deal with floods when it rained heavily, among other issues.
Although the owners claimed to possess all the required documents, having obtained them from the city authorities, the Town and Country Planning Department and the EPA, Mr Ayariga asked them to suspend work on the project until a team had done further assessment of the project.
Source: Daily Graphic
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