Contractors working on the Kejetia Redevelopment Project in Kumasi say they are unlikely to meet the 30-month completion schedule due to various challenges, key among them ongoing litigation over a parcel of land.
The dispute over the parcel of land within the project area has already delayed work for about six months, as the construction of utility installations stalls.
The Brazilian construction firm, Contracta Engenharia Ltda, commenced work in July 2015 and is expected to complete in January 2018.
Phase one of $298 million project for the construction of over 10, 000 stores and re-construction of the Kejetia Terminal is about 70 percent complete.
Nonetheless, officials are skeptical about the completion date, as work is hampered by a court order restraining the company from working within sixty meters of a private facility.
It follows a suit by a private businessman against the contractor.
Project consultant, Anthony Yeboah-Asare, is unsure about the completion date, with the dispute unresolved.
“As we are talking now, there is a portion of the land which we call the technical area which is still being disputed and that’s where they are going to do utility installations; the water pumps, the transformers, gas stations and things like that. These are key installations that are going to support the operations of the market which are still not onboard even though the machines are in the system," he told Nhyira News.
The land dispute means some key components of the project such as the development of a ring-road apart from the construction of the installations will be put on hold.
“We are like 6-months [behind schedule]…If the issue is resolved as we are being assured by the regional minister and the mayor of Kumasi and the traditional authorities, then we can sit down with the contractor and look at the programme and then come out with the exact time the project can be completed,” he said.
Project Manager, Jorge Tavares Almeda had earlier appealed to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, who was on an inspection tour at the project site to help address the issue of the disputed land.
Mr. Osei-Mensah promised to intervene by first pushing for out of court settlement, negotiate and resolve with the businessman to free the disputed land.
Meanwhile, the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has given permission to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to move some traders to the Race Course area.
The arrangement is to give access to the contractors to develop a portion of the Kejetia project site that currently being occupied by the traders.