Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has ordered the closure of Mambah Gas Station at Kaase in Kumasi for operating illegally.
The shutdown will, however, take effect after current stocks are sold out. The gas station is also found to be wrongly sited in a heavy commercial enclave near the Kumasi Abattoir.
Mr. Osei-Mensah and City Mayor, Osei Asibbey- Antwi, led officials of relevant agencies to inspect fuel and gas installations in Kumasi.
A fence wall separates Mambah Gas station and the Kumasi Abattoir where a lot of fire is used.
An emerging slum, with a lot of cooks and food vendors, is located on the other side.
Officials at Mambah Gas could not produce any document to prove the legality of the business.
Mr. Osei Mensah says building and operating permits, as well as fire certificate, are all unavailable. “Other filling stations do not have some documents to show but we have given them some time to acquire them especially the building permit,” he said.
He reveals refusal to produce further documentation may result in the closure of more filling stations.
According to the Minister, Municipal and District Assemblies in the Region will soon conduct similar exercises to ensure high safety standards.
Regional Director of Environmental Protection Agency, Samuel Oteng, who was on the inspection tour says the filling stations will have to strengthen safety measures as they await new government safety measures. Regional Fire Service Public Relations Officer wants fire fighting installations upgraded.
Mr. Desmond Ackah Essoun says all filling stations should ensure fire hydrants holding ninety thousand litres of water, is always available.
“Most of the stations we have visited do not have hydrants but have an alternative on their compounds which we can fall on in time of need,” he added.