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The angry passenger waiting to cross the river

The Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho yesterday directed the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport to go to Atimpoku, Senchi and New Akradi today and find out difficulties being faced by travellers across the Volta River as a result of the closure of the Adomi Bridge for major repair works.

The Speaker gave the directive after the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Kwame Agbodza, had revealed in a statement that motorists and passengers especially from the Eastern corridor and the Volta Region go through extreme difficulties before crossing the Volta river with passengers being asked to pay twice the original fare due to exorbitant charges by ferries and pontoons transporting vehicles across the river.

The MP also revealed that motorists and passengers are made to pay exorbitant fees for services such as places of convenience, shelter from the weather and parking spaces while waiting to cross the river.

It was also revealed that the fare from Ho to Accra has been doubled from GH?14 to GH?28 because of the closure of the Adomi Bridge, without the necessary arrangements to prevent unnecessary delays or providing an alternative route for the many travellers using that road.

The NDC MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa whose constituency shares boundary with the Adomi Bridge and the Volta River said it was unfortunate that before the closure of the bridge the necessary consultations were not made so that a better solution would have been found to the problem.

?Members of Parliament in the catchment area were not consulted, the chiefs in my area are complaining that they were not consulted and the assembly members too are complaining. So Mr Speaker, I think that broad consultation was not done by the Ministry of Roads and Highways,? he said.

He said currently there is tension between the people of Ogoli and those of Old Akrade for naming the ferry and pontoon ferrying passengers and cars after Old Akrade, ?but my people think they have the right to name the Ferry.?

He said the closure of the bridge without providing very good alternative means to cross over the river had brought untold hardship on the people of North Tongu and Asuogyaman especially who are close to the bridge and have been using it daily to transport goods and services to the major market centres in the area.

?I think the Minister of Roads and Transport ought to come to Parliament to explain to the people?s representatives what measures they are putting in place to ameliorate the suffering of the people,? he noted.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Papa Owusu Ankomah said it was important for the Minister of Roads and Highways to come to Parliament to brief the House about scheduled rehabilitation works on major bridges and roads in the country because it had been reported that another bridge on the Tema Motorway has had structural fault, causing huge traffic jam as of Wednesday.

The Speaker asked the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport to find out the situation and report back to Parliament.

He also directed the Business Committee to invite the Minister of Roads and Highways to Parliament to brief it about the situation as well as the unapproved charges being collected by people operating the ferries and the pontoon.

He said one ferry was not enough and that one more should be provided to augment the services of the other.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr

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