By Yussif Ibrahim, GNA
Kumasi, Sept. 11, GNA - Contractors working on the Kejetia Re-development Project on Tuesday morning opened up part of a barricaded area to ease congestion in the central market space.
This followed a Monday stampede in the area as thousands of people who besieged the central business district apparently to shop for their wards for the new academic calendar.
The fencing of the project site had created narrow routes where hundreds of people squeezed themselves daily to have access to the central market and other business outlets surrounding the Kejetia project.
The little space left for public use has also been taken over by traders, compounding the already bad situation, which got worsened on Monday resulting in the stampede when a huge number of people visited the hub.
Six people were reported to have collapsed and were rushed to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), where they were believed to be receiving treatment.
However, Dr. Kwame Nyame, Head of Emergency Department at KATH when contacted by the GNA denied any knowledge of the incident and said he left the Hospital at around 2200 hours on Monday night but did not receive any such case.
“The patients may have been sent to another facility and not KATH”, he added.
The situation aggravated the hitherto worse vehicular traffic congestion in the city especially around 1700 hours, the rush hour, when commuters who had massed up at lorry terminals formed long queues and taxi ranks, waiting for commercial vehicles which were finding it difficult to make a round trip due to the heavy traffic.
Commercial drivers took advantage of the situation to have a field day as some charged higher unapproved fares while commercial vehicles bound for longer distances, went on short distances.
This also created some transportation challenges and scores of commuters had to walk home due to the situation.
When the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited the central market area on Tuesday morning, the contractors had removed portions of the iron sheets used to fence the site to open up the place to ease congestion.
As early as 0630 hours, the congestion was already building up, suggesting that the situation would not be any different from yesterday, if not worse.
Mr. Kwame Bampoe, a trader in front of the central market told the GNA that he had not seen such massive crowds like that of Monday and accused city authorities of not being proactive to check the human traffic which was common anytime schools re-opened.
Madam Yaa Akroma on her part, applauded the contractors for opening up the place for human movement, but was quick to add that they should have done that on Monday.