Wpid Tdc Demolition Copy
Tdc On Demolition Spree

TDC DEMOLITION 5 copy

One of the affected houses. INSET: A victim lamenting to the media

ABOUT 3000 residents of Promise Land near Adjei-Kojo in the Tema West Constituency have been rendered homeless following a demolition exercise embarked upon by the Tema Development Corporation (TDC) to rid the area of illegal structures.

The Member of Parliament for the area, Hon. Irene Naa Torshie-Addo, who described the exercise as malicious, clashed with the joint military and police personnel who were providing security for the TDC taskforce to undertake the exercise.

Armed military and police team, led by a certain Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Abass from the National Police Rapid Development Taskforce, fired several warning shots to disperse crowds who attempted to resist the TDC taskforce?s attempt to pull down what they termed illegal structures.

Some residents who got hints of the demolition which started last Tuesday, managed to salvage some of their properties, but were yet to get safe places to keep them, since all houses in the area had been earmarked for demolition, with other residents unable to salvage anything, as they were out of their homes when the exercise began.

TDC DEMOLITION

Over the years, the TDC had claimed ownership of the land in the area. However, individuals who were putting up structures claimed to have acquired the lands from the traditional heads, who also claimed the land was a stool land.

When DAILY GUIDE got to the scene, over 100 houses had been demolished by the taskforce who stormed the area with bulldozers and other earthmoving machines, with about 150 more to be destroyed.

Residents of the community pleaded with the government to come to their aid and prevent the TDC from demolishing the remaining houses.

According them, they were victims of circumstances, and had no idea that the land had been taken over by the government, and that it was meant for the TDC.

The residents claimed that the land was originally sold to them by the Slaha Chief and elders of Tema, and that the only document they had concerning the land was the indenture that was provided to them when they bought the land.

They therefore came up with the suggestion that if there were any penalties to be paid, they would gladly do so, so that they could keep their homes, instead of the demolition exercise which had rendered them homeless.

According to them, they did not have a good sleep since the inception of the demolition exercise, fearing that their houses would be pulled down.

However, a statement released earlier by the Public Relation Officer of the TDC Dorothy A. Asare-Kumah noted, ?The major operational challenge that the TDC faces is the blatant encroachment of lands. Illegal sale of lands by individuals and some traditional authorities in the metropolis have seriously affected the Corporation?s activities.?

According to Ms. Asare-Kumah, thousands of acres of lands had been lost to encroachers, with government losing over 740 acres of land in one community alone. She said some of the worst-hit areas were Adjei-Kojo and its environs, Gulf City, Bethlehem and the Ramser Site around Klagon.

The statement further said, ?The activities of land guards and encroachers have perpetuated the trespassing and misuse of government lands in the Tema Acquisition Area, prompting the need for National Security intervention.?

According to the PRO, the TDC and the National Security Service are leading a special exercise code-named ?Operation Halt II? to stop the activities of land guards in that part of the country.

Hon. Irene Naa Torshie-Addo, MP for Tema West, told DAILY GUIDE at the scene that it would be very unfair for the TDC and the government to render the citizens of the country homeless, in order to make way for a foreign private estate developer.

She said it would be insensitive on the part of government to make more people homeless, stressing that they would take the matter to the law courts for redress to save her people.

Meanwhile, George Kofi Ameyaw, spokesperson for the chief and elders of the area, has stated that the TDC refused to meet them in court when they were challenged to do so and they are therefore surprised that the corporation, without any further notice, has resorted to demolishing their buildings.

From Vincent Kubi, Tema

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