Rawlings is right but…
Date published: October 29, 2012
At his recent lecture on corruption held in Accra, former President Rawlings added his voice to the numerous calls on the government to review the decision to develop land opposite the 37 Military Hospital for commercial purposes.
Available information indicates that the land, formerly owned by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), has been sold to commercial developers, who are going to put up modern apartments and shopping malls on it.
It is an undeniable fact that modern buildings are what beautify a city, therefore, any decision to develop the land should not be seen as something that would destroy the image of Accra.
Twenty five years ago, Accra looked more like a village, but today the city has changed, thanks to the modern architectural designs of buildings in Accra. Those who have been frequenting Central Accra, Airport City and Tetteh Quarshie Circle areas, would agree that these places have seen dramatic transformation, in terms of beauty.
If those who have taken over the land in question, are also going to put up the same modern buildings that would add more beauty to the nation’s capital, The Chronicle is at home with that. Our concern, though, is the traffic problem the development of the land is likely to create.
Although a modern interchange has been constructed at Tetteh Quarshie Intrerchange, the hectic traffic situation in the area has not abated completely. The development is being attributed to the shopping mall that has been constructed at the southern end of the interchange.
With this experience, it would not be far-fetched for one to deduce that the same problem could be experienced at the 37 Hospital area if the land opposite it should also be turned into shopping malls.
What we should not gloss over is the fact that the Liberation Road, which lies between the 37 Military Hospital, and the yet to be developed land, is one of the ceremonial roads in Accra, and any development that would impede the free flow of traffic on it could result in disastrous consequences.
It is based on this that The Chronicle thinks Rawlings’ call on President Mahama to halt the sale of the land is in the right direction. However, if the promoters of the shopping malls and the accompanying residential apartments could provide an antidote to the anticipated traffic jam that would build up in the area after the completion of the project, then nothing should be done to thwart the laudable effort to modernise Accra.
The wastage of fuel by cars and vehicles as a result of traffic jams and the attendant waste of working hours, which lowers productivity, should be of concern to anyone who wants to see the development of this country. That is why we are cautioning that the development of the disputed land area should not to be without any modern design that would help to ease the traffic situation on the Liberation Road.
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