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Anambra: Cooking Gas Outlets in Residential Areas Flout the Law - Awka Capital Boss

By Emeka Ozumba 
Venerable Barr. Amaechi Okwuosa , MD/CEO Awka Capital Development Authority
Venerable Barr. Amaechi Okwuosa , MD/CEO Awka Capital Development Authority
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The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Awka Capital Development Authority (ACTDA) said that those setting up and operating cooking gas outlets near residential areas within the Awka Capital Territory are flouting the laws of the state, adding that . agency is taking measures to checkmate them and ensure a mishap does not occur.

Venerable Bar. Okwuosa made this assertion at the Meet-the-Media programme, a weekly interactive session organized by Governor Obiano's Media Team at the Head of Service Conference Hall, Jerome Udorji Secretariat in Awka where he was a guest.

He stated that proliferation of cooking gas outlets is an ever present danger, saying that most of them got approval before the present government came into office. "Most of those operating the cooking gas outlets had got approvals before we came into office. But even at that they still flout the law by not working within the limit given to them". "Some people who got approval many years ago might be unlucky not to be able to build certain things now that most of those areas are built up. But we are taking the bold step to remove those sited in built up arear to ensure people are safe."

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L-R: Mr James Eze, CPS, Ven. Barr Amaechi Okwuosa, MD/CEO Awka Capital Development Authority, and Mr Emeka Ozumba, DCPS at the MEET-THE-MEDiA event held recently.

Okwuosa noted that "every filling station has a right to keep some amount of cooking gas in their station. However, we are engaging the Department of Patroleum Resources (DPR) to ensure that they don't grant approvals indiscriminately. So we try to regulate their operation and ensure things are kept in place for it to operate freely. By next year, we'll intensify efforts to ensure our people are safe and gas plants are out where they are supposed to be." He emphasized.

On the status of the much talked-about Masterplan, Okwuosa explained that what the previous administration did was a skeletal structural plan not a Master plan. "We don't have a complete Master plan at the moment. As we speak everything about getting a Master plan ready is in place,but it's quite Capital intensive and we hope to achieve that too. We have done the Arieal photography and we have a structural sketch which has guided us pending when we have a Master plan."

L-R: Mr James Eze, CPS, Ven. Barr Amaechi Okwuosa, MD/CEO Awka Capital Development Authority, Mrs Ify Aronu- Okafor, SSA Broacasting and Mr Emeka Ozumba, DCPS at the MEET-THE-MEDiA event held recently.

According to the ACTDA Boss, water ways are easily identified by the agency within the plan and it advises the ministry of lands with respect to allocation on how to go about it. According to Venerable Okwuosa the agency has also adopted laws on motorway (express). "For instance, you have to observe 55.5 meters setback from the road, before you build and we enforce that, you don't need a Master plan to know that.

Okwuosa reiterated that the State government is committed to ensuring the safety of the people, urging residents of the state to report building of gas plant any where within the Awka Capital territory.