The Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) on Wednesday directed all persons and institutions that had encroached on lands bordering its transmission lines, to take immediate steps to relocate or face demolition.
GRIDCo noted that the presences of these individuals and companies poses risks to public safety and the need for regular maintenance works on the lines by the company.
“We are ready to undertake demolition exercises, where necessary, as part of our mandate to move unauthorized structures from the power transmission lines which is a prohibited zone to ensure the right thing is done,” GRIDCo stated.
Mr Jonathan Amoako-Baah, GRIDCo Chief Executive, in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the company may even be compelled to surcharge the costs incurred during such exercises to the encroachers.
He reiterated that it was an offence for persons or institutions to conduct any form of activity in relation to the lands around the location of power transmission lines.
He said under the Transmission Line Protection Regulations, 1967 (LI 542) as amended by Regulation No. LI 1737 of 2004, it was an offence to undertake any business near the power transmission lines, which was a prohibited zone.
Illegal activities identified near the power transmission lines included drilling, excavating, lorry parks, shops, garages, bars, real estate, among others who are operating illegally in the area extending up to 20 meters on each side from the centre line of the transmission.
He stated that these activities by the encroachers poses a great danger to human life and property as transmission line faults could result in casualties and damage to properties and outage to customers could also be prolonged due to restricted access to the Right-of-Ways.
“We are very concerned with this trend across the country. Though we have chalked some success by ejecting some encroachers, others have remained adamant,” he said.
Mr Amoako-Baah noted that over the years, they had carried out a lot of sensitisation programmes through the print and electronic media, Information Services Department campaigns and joint engagements with Municipal Assemblies.
He said they were committed to carrying out their mandate as a power transmitter and will do whatever was necessary to prevent interferences.
He indicated that GRIDCo had over the past years notified encroachers along its transmission towers and lands of the risk associated with their activities in the prohibited zones.
He further stated that GRIDCo was working with the relevant state institutions to remove properties and structures and to curb all forms of human activities, within the Right-of-Ways, to safeguard public safety and ensure reliability of electricity supply.