Stakeholders meet to strengthen and improve coordination for road reservation

Stakeholders in the utilities and infrastructure sector have met to strengthen coordination to improve their operations within the context of road reservation.

The meeting, held in Koforidua, was attended by officials from the National Engineering Coordinating Team (NECT), utility companies, the telcos, departments of the Roads Ministry and engineers from the various district Assemblies.

Mr Kofi Nti Appiagyei, Eastern Regional Director of the Department of Urban Roads said the meeting was among others to discuss ways to reduce encroachment on road reservation, which had become a huge source of cost in road construction.

He explained that 70 percent of all road reservations were for road construction purposes and 30 percent for utilities such as water, electricity, and telecommunications network.

However, there are infractions on this rule leading to excavations by the utility companies as well as fibre cuts and in the process damaging roads resulting in huge repair cost.

In some situations, “roads reservation are encroached to the extent that encroachers have to be relocated or compensated at huge cost to the government” adding that, with strong coordination, this would not happen.

Even though there has been some level of engagement between the stakeholders, “we are faced with this challenge day in day out, hence, the need to strengthen the coordination to ensure the right thing is done,” he noted.

Mr Alex Asamoah, National Secretary for NECT, said lack of strong coordination between the infrastructure sector and the utilities was costing the state a lot of money in terms of road contract sums due to payments for compensations and other variations.

He stressed the need for the District Assemblies in charge of development at the local level to do due diligence in granting permits for any form of construction, to avoid encroachment on the road reservation.

Mr Ken Ashigbey, head of the Chamber of Telecommunications and President of the NECT, observed that the crust of the matter laid with the Assemblies who had the mandate to issue permits and called on the technical officers at the Assemblies to step up their roles.

He indicated that going forward issues with permit would be forwarded to the regional NECT so that considerations would be made at that level for strict compliance.

He disclosed that some of the Assemblies were part of the problem “some Assemblies have granted permits for construction in the road reservations whiles some have put up facilities within same enclave.”

Source: GNA

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