Onitsha: Rage over construction of gas, fuel stations in residential area

<strong>Onitsha: Rage over construction of gas, fuel stations in residential area</strong>

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By Paully Onah

Residents and landlords grounded Fegge Community Onitsha South Council Area of Anambra State when thousands of residents and and landlords took to the street  over construction of Liquefied Petroleum Gas/Petrol station in their residential area.

On Thursday, over 70 protesters who are living along Creek road and Gunning street Fegge, said the approval of such facilities in the midst of residents is illegal and unacceptable.

They queried the license and approval to the company for siting such project capable of causing disaster in the area.

This was contained in the  protesters’ petition to Governor Chukwuma Soludo and copied to Chairman, Anambra State Urban Development Board, ASUDEB, Commissioner for Environment, Commissioner for Lands and Survey, State Physical Planning Authority, State Fire Service and the Coordinator NMDPRA, Zonal Office, Awka.

Speaking on behalf of the protesters in Onitsha, Mr Joseph Ugbana and Mr. Izuchukwu Okolo, described the facility as a bomb waiting to explode, and called on government to halt the ongoing construction and ensure that the culprits were punished accordingly.

“We doubt the approval for this project by State or Federal governments or any of their agencies since the place was originally for residential building.

“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.

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“The site was formerly at No. 2. Arondizuogu street housing a two-storey building whose tenants were told to quit for reconstruction not knowing that it was for building of a Petrol/ Gas station — a time bomb that is waiting to explode and those who approved it will come to shed crocodile tears when the disaster happen”.

The legal adviser to the petitioners, Mr. Nkem Olise, described the illegal construction as clear breach to extant rules.

He urged Governor Chukwuma Soludo and other relevant authorities to halt the construction and investigate its approval.

According to him, “The obvious illegal construction clearly breaches the extant rules of the authority to construction the of Liquefied Petroleum /Gas Outlet and Petrol station.

“Besides, the plot of land was originally designated as a residential plot until the developer bought the building Street and  demolished it with a view to converting to petrol and gas station.

“The proximity of the ongoing construction, is health and fire risk to the entire neighborhood, we will seriously suffer from the harmful effect of hazardous substances and vapour usually encountered in such environment”, he said.

FILE: PROTESTERS/GAS STATION

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