The Ring Road West, Central Are Not Portraying A Good Image Of Accra!

The government has begun what it called ‘Streets of Accra Project’ to improve upon the quality of roads in Accra and its adjourning towns and cities.

Under this project, asphalt overlays will be done on selected roads within the Accra Metropolis, La Dadekotopon, La Nkwantanan, Ga East, Adentan and Ledzokuku Krowor Municipality areas. The project is expected to cover 76 km of roads. The Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, was quoted by the GNA as saying that the project is to arrest the deterioration of many roads in Accra, which have not seen any major maintenance for some time.

“The asphalt overlay programme is part of the interventions that the Ministry of Roads and Highways, under the directive and leadership of President John Mahama, is undertaking to move the roads in the region from fair and poor conditions to good,” Inusa was quoted as saying. The project, which The Chronicle understands covers regional capitals as well, is a laudable one. We, however, have a problem with the way some of the ceremonial roads in Accra are being asphalted by the government.

Accra has four major roads – the Liberation Road which starts from the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange through Airport Junction to the Liberation Circle; the Ring Roads, which also originate from Obetsebi Circle and terminate at La Hospital; George Walker Bush Highway (NI) and Circle to Achimota Road.  Whilst some of these roads are in good condition, the same cannot be said about the Ring Roads, especially the Central and West.

When the deterioration was getting out of hand, the government decided, about four or so years ago, to asphalt the GBC Junction to King Tackie Tawia Interchange portion of the Ring Road Central.  Even with this, the equally deteriorating gutters along the stretch were not touched. With the ongoing asphalting of streets in Accra, one would have expected that the problem with the Ring Road West, Central and East would adequately be addressed, but, alas, that has not happened.

Only the portions from Danquah Circle to La Hospital have been asphalted.  Meanwhile, after the Liberation Road, the next most recognised road in Accra is the Ring Road. Any casual visitor to Accra would most likely use this road, yet we have allowed it to deteriorate. Is it surprising that President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe sees the Liberation Road as the only beautiful road Accra can boast of?

To make matters worse, the Liberation and NI highway, which are first class roads, have their street lights not working at night. The street lights at the Airport Junction to Tetteh Quarshie Interchange could best be described as ‘village lights’, because they look dim instead of providing proper illumination, to tell a good story about Accra.

Regrettably, this is a street that links the Kotoka International Airport, which, we claim, is the gateway to Africa. If the energy crisis is indeed over, then what stops the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) from putting on the street lights in Accra?  When residents of the national capital started jubilating over the beautiful NI highway, which was well illuminated in the night, the former Commander of the MTTU, Mr. Victor Tandoh, used his programme on Hot FM to warn the ECG not to disappoint the people, as they did when the street lights from the Pantang Junction to Peduase started working, but went dead a few years later.

The warning given five years ago has now manifested, as the beautiful lights on the NI Highway have all gone dead.  If we call ourselves a middle income country, why should we keep our busy streets in the dark? Does this project the good image of Ghana? We hope the authorities concerned would answer these questions. We equally hope that the Ring Road West and Central would properly be constructed to beautify the capital city.

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