The Wenchi Municipal Security Council (MUSEC), has closed down a gas filling station in the municipality.
CAD Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) filling station, was allegedly shut down for non-compliant to safety regulations and exposing residents to danger.
This follows persistent complaints and petitions from residents to the effect that the gas station did not have the requisite permit to operate, and that it is also sited in a residential area.
The Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and Chairman of MUSEC, Dr. Prince Kwakye Afriyie, who led the exercise, told Citi News the decision was taken at its meeting on the 19th of October, 2017, and duly communicated to the management of the station.
He said the Assembly had written on several occasions to managers of the facility to provide them with all the relevant documents, covering their operations for the necessary safety assessment to be conducted, but regretted that their request received no response.
“The MUSEC meeting we held on Thursday, I promised the people of Wenchi that this particular gas station they are complaining is under our consideration. It started about two months ago and has nothing to do with what happened in Accra. We could have taken this decision a week ahead before the unfortunate disaster in Accra, but we were waiting for documentation from managers of the station but they failed to provide them hence our decision halt their operations.”
Dr. Kwakye Afriyie instructed managers of the facility to liaise with the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Town and Country Department and other relevant organizations to come up with a schedule to sell the remaining gas available, and afterwards seize to receive supply until they provide their documents for inspection.
“They are to liaise with the relevant stakeholders from tomorrow [Wednesday], and come out with a timetable to sell the residual gas in their tanks, and after that they are not allowed to bring in any gas into Wenchi until they bring all their documents to the satisfaction of MUSEC, and then we will contact the necessary regulatory bodies to take a final decision about the location of this particular gas station,” he emphasized.
Citi News‘ checks at the Assembly revealed that, the (Plot No. 240 C) on which the facility is sited, was acquired by one Charity Addo Donkor.
The owner was given a permit by the Building inspectorate and Environmental Health Unit of the Wenchi Municipal Assembly to put up the gas station on 21st March, 2016.
Actions against fuel stations
These actions and inspections have become necessary, following the Atomic Junction explosion that killed 7 people and injured eight (8) over 100 others.
As a result, government after a crucial cabinet meeting, ordered that all high-risk fuel stations be closed down to allow for a proper safety audit.
The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, also ordered the cessation of all facilities being constructed to serve as fuel stations across the country to allow authorities carry out the needed safety audit.
The President also ordered that the cylinder re-circulation policy be implemented within a year, a decision that has angered LPG Markers who closed down their facilities for less than a week in protest against the measures which they consider knee-jerk and a threat to their investments.
As part of the cylinder re-circulation policy, consumers will buy cylinder bottles already filled with gas, and will not need to refill themselves at designated stations.
21 LPG stations shut down, more to follow – NPA
The National Petroleum Authority (NPA), has said it was already taking serious action against some fuel stations, before the new directives from President Nana Akufo-Addo, as it had already shut down 21 Liquefied Petroleum Gas filling stations across the country for failing safety standards.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Hassan Tampuli, said they hope to sustain the momentum in ensuring safety regulations are adhered to.
Construction of fuel stations ongoing despite President’s order
Construction works are ongoing at some of petrol stations in the Ashanti Region, despite a presidential fiat ordering the temporary cessation of the construction of facilities intended for use as gas or petrol/diesel retail outlets.
Citi News sighted construction work vigorously ongoing at a Unity Oil filling station, located at Krofrom, a suburb of Kumasi in the Ashanti Region.
The supervisors said they were not aware of any directive to stop work, and its management maintained that all requirements for the construction had been met.
By: Mashoud Kombat/citifmonline.com/Ghana