Anambra residents, landlords kick against construction of LPG/Petrol Station in their residential area
…accuses approval agencies of taking bribes to compromise the law by citing such projects
By Eche Nwaobasi, Nnewi
Over 1000 residents and landlords of No 34/58 Creek road and No. 2 Gunning Street and others living near No 2 Arondizogu Street Fegge Onitsha, Anambra State, have risen in protest against building a Liquefied Petroleum Gas/Petrol Station in their residential area by Pillars Energy Limited.
In a protest letter they wrote to Governor Chukwuma Soludo, of Anambra State and copied the Chairman, Anambra State Urban Development Board, ASUDEB, the State Commissioner for Environment, Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Anambra State Physical Planning Authority, the Director/Chief Fire Office, Anambra State Fire Service and the Coordinator NMDPRA, Zonal Office Awka, they queried who could have given the license and approval to the company for sitting such a project that could cause calamity to the residents.
Speaking on behalf of the landlords and residents of the area, while addressing newsmen in Onitsha, Mr Joseph Ugbana and Mr. Izuchukwu Okolo, respectively doubted the approval for the project by the Anambra State government or any of its agencies, or any federal government agency, since the place was specifically for residential building as no such project like Gas/Fuel station has even been located there.
“It is only a compromised government agency that can approve and license the construction and, operation of a Petrol and Gas station in a densely populated residential area like ours, the site of a two-storey building that was housing people before it was sold and demolished for the Petrol and Gas station being constructed.
“The site was formerly No.2 Arondizuogu Street housing a two-storey building whose tenants were told to quit for reconstruction not knowing that it was for the building of a Petrol/ Gas station, a time bomb that is waiting to explode and subsequently the people who approved it will come to shed crocodile tears when the disaster it is coming with will happen.
“Fegge Onitsha has specific areas where Petrol/Gas stations were located, without constituting threats to life and property. We wonder how a responsible government or its agency will approve such a life and property-threatening project to be cited in a densely populated area like hours.
“We are therefore calling on the Anambra State Government to halt the ongoing construction and punish any person responsible for the construction in the area, instead of allowing the project which is a waiting time bomb that will explode one day and take lives.”
Mr Nkem Olise, the lawyer to the landlords of the protesting residents and landlords, said that if the state government and authorities they directed their letter fail to act now to halt the disaster situation that is waiting to happen with the construction of such a project in the area, they should not come to shed crocodile tears when it happens.
“The obvious illegal construction breaches the extant rules of the authority to construct the Liquefied Petroleum /Gas Outlet and Petrol Stations because it is sitting in a densely populated area, more so the plot of land was originally designated as a residential plot until the developer bought No 2 Arondizuogu Street and the residential building sitting on it, demolished it to convert to petrol and Gas Station.
“The proximity of the ongoing construction is a health and fire risk to the entire neighbourhood, we will seriously suffer from the harmful effect of hazardous substances and vapour usually encountered in such an environment. Consequently, we urge Governor Soludo and all the authorities concerned to halt the construction and investigate its approval.”