Abia - No fewer than 20 illegal motor parks have been sealed-off in Aba, Umuahia and Ohafia, the Commissioner for Transport in Abia, Chief Ukpai Agwu, has said.
Agwu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Thursday that the measure was taken to ensure sanity in the three major areas in the state.
He said that the illegal parks constituted major impediment to free-flow of traffic in the areas.
The commissioner explained that some petrol stations, especially in Aba, the economic hub of the state, were also converted into parks by their owners.
``These parks operated without government approval and were sited indiscriminately in the three cities. No sane government could have approved such parks,’’ he said.
Agwu said that the various transport unions in the government approved parks were directed to evacuate the unserviceable vehicles and containers in the parks to create space for more vehicles.
``We discovered that the unions deliberately filled the parks with unserviceable vehicles and containers, limiting the space and causing drivers to load and off load on the street.
``We gave them a two-week ultimatum to clear the parks and after the evacuation, it became clear that the parks in Aba were spacious enough to take a lot of vehicles.
``Today, vehicles drive into the parks freely, load and discharge passengers comfortably. The practice of loading and off-loading on the roads had stopped.’’
The commissioner said that the chaotic traffic situation often experienced at Aba Park-Milverton Junction, Bata and Brass Junctions, Osisioma and Asannetu spare parts market, had stopped.
He said the measure also helped to decongest traffic on Umuwaya Road, Mission Hill and Cooperative Areas in Umuahia, the state capital.
He explained that a committee was set up to keep surveillance in the affected cities ``to sustain the tempo and ensure that all those mushroom parks did not return to the streets again.’’
Agwu said that defaulters would pay fine, ranging from N10, 000 to N50, 000, for vehicles and lorries, respectively.