Kumasi: Minister orders traders to leave Central Market footbridge

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has given traders who have taken over the Kumasi Central Market footbridge one month to vacate the place or be forced out. The GHc2.2 million 70-meter bridge was built for the safety of pedestrians and to ease congestion at the Central Business District but the purpose has largely been defeated. Traders and hawkers have turned it into a thriving market, using it to do brisk business – with wares displayed on every inch of the bridge. Mr. Osei-Mensah, who spoke to reporters described the situation as deeply troubling and completely unacceptable. He said the intense pressure on the bridge – the weight on it, was creating safety concerns – potential risk of the bridge collapsing. He indicated that inaction by the Regional Coordinating Council and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), could prove to be too costly. He said he was ready to fearlessly tackle the issue to ensure discipline in the Ashanti Regional capital. Mr. Osei-Mensah warned that recalcitrant traders would be arrested and prosecuted. The footbridge linking the Market with Adum and other parts of the district, was inaugurated in October, 2013, to allow for free pedestrian movement. The Minister said “it is illegal for any trader to sell his or her wares on the footbridge, and as a law-abiding government we will not allow the wrong things to be done”.


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