The Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly in the Upper East Region has demolished unauthorized structures along major streets within the Township.
The affected structures included those along the Bolgatanga stadium and library roads and some major roads within the Municipality.
The exercise was also extended to the old abattoir where a concrete slap for animal slaughtering was destroyed to prevent some butchers who still used the facility even though they were relocated to the new abattoir at Yorogo, coupled with the ban on animal slaughtering, owing to the outbreak of anthrax in the Region.
Mr Rex Asanga, the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), in an interview with journalists on the demolishing exercise, said the Assembly had over the past months identified unauthorized structures within the Township, and management took the decision to demolish them.
He said the Assembly received complaints about some butchers, who still operated on the concrete slap at the old abattoir, “The slap was one of the targets so that they would not continue to use it to slaughter animals.
“We got information that they even slaughter animals at night, and now that there is anthrax, if we do not take this action, and an anthrax-infected animal is slaughtered, that would pose a health hazard to members of the public,” he said.
He explained that some of the areas where containers were erected, especially along the stadium road, were designated as car parks.
“We have warned people not to put structures there, but they continue to do that. They were given sufficient notice about this exercise. Anybody whose structure was demolished was given sufficient notice,” he said.
He said beyond the warning markings on unauthorized structures, owners were served letters which indicated the date the exercise would be done, “So it is not as if we just got up and started demolishing structures. Everybody has been properly informed.”
Mr Asanga said the exercise was to be extended to government residential areas, especially at the government flats along the Regional Hospital road, where some structures were erected in between the flats and along the road, but owners of such structures had written to the Assembly to request for some grace period.
“We were supposed to demolish containers along the flats, but they have written to us asking for time, some of them also have permits, so we have decided that we will give them some bit of time. So, the flat area will not be included in this exercise,” the MCE said.
He said there was a need to have roads in the Municipality without containers and structures on both shoulders.
“From the library junction to the Hospital junction, we should at least have that road in town free of containers and kiosks, that we can refer to as our ceremonial road.”
Mr Asanga cautioned that if per the plan of the Municipality, management of the Assembly realized that houses were constructed on roads, the due procedure would be followed to demolish such houses.
He said much as the Assembly did not take delight in demolishing structures owners depended on for their livelihood, it would equally not allow for such unauthorized structures to cause problems in the Municipality.
Even though the MCE said affected business owners were duly notified about the demolishing exercise, some of them told the media that the action of the Assembly was sudden and least expected.