The Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) has given traders at the Kumasi Central Market up to midnight of March 13th this year, to vacate the market for the reconstruction works to begin.
The entire market would be barricaded and the structures pulled down after the deadline and any wares left behind would not be retrieved.
Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister-designate who gave the ultimatum, expressed displeasure at the recalcitrance of the traders to move out of the place for the second phase of the Kumasi Kejetia/Central Market Redevelopment Project to begin.
He said the traders who were allocated temporal places at some designated markets in the metropolis to carry their business activities had refused to relocate after the deadline of March 07 this year.
Addressing journalists in Kumasi, Mr Osei-Mensah pointed out that the refusal of the traders to vacate the area was unduly delaying the start of the project.
“The traders were given a deadline of March 07 this year to move to designated areas, but none of them have moved as I speak, to pave way for anything to continue in the area.”
According to him, the RCC would tolerate any further complaints and any trader who refused to relocate did so at his or her own risk.
“Any trader that does not remove his or her items from the place, might find the place demolished, all structures and place graded down and will have themselves to blame,”, he warned.
“I will not receive any complaints from anybody who refuses to comply with the city authority’s directions,” Mr Osei-Mensah emphasized and explained that the relocation was zoned into four to make enough space for traders at designated areas.
He said Zones one and two traders were to move to Abinkyi and Racecourse Markets to pave way for the contractor to start work on the land.
The Minister said without the speedy completion of the second phase of the project, it would be difficult to decongest the central business area and trading activities would continue to be cumbersome and uncomfortable.
Mr Osei-Mensah said the continued delays in the start of the project as a result of the refusal of the traders to relocate could affect the prompt release of the loans granted for the project.
Again, the government was finding it difficult to process for the release of the second tranche of the loan, because the first tranche which was released was not utilized due to lack of access to the whole demarcated project land.
The regional Minister pledged to work to ensure that the region did not lose such a huge developmental project, as a result of parochial interest of few people.