By Jonathan Ugbal
Some business outfit owners operating along the popular Bedwell street in Calabar grumbled over the Environment Commissioner’s decision to sanitize the area.
The Commissioner, Engineer Mike Eraye in the company of the CUDA boss Joe-Mary Ekeng and his counterpart in the State Waste Management Agency, Willie Okokon and some staff of the Ministry Monday, made good their promise to ensure a clean and decongested Bedwell street after over a fortnight of warning to illegal business operators in the street to evacuate or face forceful eviction and goods confiscation.
However, this did not go down well with some auto mechanics who make brisk business in the area and their frustrations were visible as they kept complaining over the activities of the team.
One of them who simply gave his name as Chibuzor said “nna this is bad for business o, this na the main market, where Ayade want mek we go?.”
Earlier, Eraye in an interview had stressed the reason why he is embarking on such task.
“Bedwell supplies over 50 percent of the spare parts we use to fix out vehicles but over time, they have taken the city for granted. It has become a no man’s land. What we are doing here is sanitizing the street by clearing the gutters to allow free flow of storm water and removing shanties which until now constituted a nuisance.”
The clean up exercise which lasted almost ten hours saw over a dozen load of waste evacuated from Whitehouse by Bedwell street to Bedwell by Victor Akan street, a distance of less than a kilometre.
The auto mechanics who refused identifying themselves to Eraye were warned to desist from such acts with several of the suspected mechanics meeting in groups and grumbling in silence.
When approached, one who simply gave his name as Chineke Boy said, though a quit notice had been served, more time should have been given as two weeks is too short to relocate.
This comes on the heels of an aggressive campaign of the environment ministry to evacuate blocked drainages before the rains set in with notable successes recorded so far in the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Airport bypass, Edim Otop, Otop Abasi and several other streets while notices have been served to hawkers and business operators to evacuate their goods and shanties respectively from the “green areas” in order to regain the aesthetic value of the state capital.
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