A joint task force made up of Ashaiman Police and City Guards from the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA) have arrested five hawkers for trading on the streets.
One of the culprits was reported to have assaulted a female police officer and was put behind bars to permit further investigations and prosecution.
Commercial motorbike riders, commonly called Okada riders were not spared in the exercise as two of them were also arrested and their motorbikes impounded.
Wares of some hawkers trading at the time of the exercise were impounded and subsequently sent to the Assembly.
Shops built close to the edges of the streets were demolished by the task force.
The arrests were made when the Assembly, led by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) Mr. Albert Okyere, embarked on a decongestion exercise on Monday.
The exercise was aimed at clearing the street of hawkers and to clamp down on Okada riders within the Municipality in order to facilitate the free flow of traffic in the municipality.
Briefing the media after the exercise, the Chief Executive stated that the arrested hawkers will be arraigned before court to face the full rigors of the law.
According to him, any hawker found selling on the streets, will be apprehended and subsequently put before court.Explaining the essence of the decongestion exercise, he indicated that it was to make the roads accessible by vehicles without any obstruction from the activities of street hawkers.
He recalled the two-week ultimatum issued to traders and hawkers to vacate the streets stressing that some traders refused to adhere to the directive and continued to sell on the streets causing inconveniences to commuters.
Mr. Okyere warned that any driver found picking passengers or parking on the streets will also be arrested, adding that “heavy trucks due for offloading goods will be given one and a half hours to park and offload but after the stipulated time, they will be fined by the Assembly’s task force.”
He, however, disclosed that the Assembly’s task force will do daily check-ups to make sure the hawkers do not return to the streets.
Some traders in an interview with DAILY GUIDE lauded the Chief Executive for the exercise.
They asserted that the exercise will pave way for the free movement of vehicles and pedestrians.
They, however, suggested that the Assembly should make conscious effort to find an alternative market for the traders as their numbers have increased.
Meanwhile, traffic congestion has eased considerably after the exercise.