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Curbing transportation problems in Govt. House Perm. Site

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IN 1991, when the present Anambra State was created with Awka as its capital, majority of ndi Anambra refused to join in the exodus to Awka because of the difficulties encountered.

The Permanent Site of former College of Education, Awka, housed majority of the government offices and most of the students’ hostels were rented by some civil servants who could not be coming to work from their Enugu residences or from their villages in the present Anambra State.

The area presently known as Perm. Site, Government House or former College of Education Perm. Site, started developing gradually, with government and private individuals building estates and different kinds of houses to meet the increasing accommodation needs of civil servants and students of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, situated close to the Government House. There are no public schools, both primary and secondary in the area, neither are there Primary Health Care Centres, although there are  a number of private schools and hospitals.

A few years ago, majority of government offices initially accommodated at the area were moved to the state Secretariat Complex.

  In view of the above, majority of the workers who used to come to work at Perm. Site  started going to work at the secretariat, thereby reducing the number of commuters to the area so drastically that it takes hours before a 14-seater bus gets filled up by passengers, even though the drivers at a point adopted a rule to be moving with only 10 passengers. The fact that majority of people living in the Perm. Site axis are car owners is not helping matters.

Apart from the rush hours which are between 7am to 10am and between 3pm and 6pmwhen workers dismiss from offices, the loading of buses consume hours. Buses hardly load from 10am to 3.30pm even as the drivers close for the day between 7.30pm to 8pm.

This situation has resulted to passengers waiting for them at Eke Awka and other areas within the town  plying other routes and spending more  to get to Government House or other destinations from Government House.

other destinations from Government House. 

Presently, while residents of the area are crying that they are having transportation problems, bus drivers plying the area complain that they are not getting enough passengers.

A resident of Government House axis, Mr. Valentine Ifebude, stated that the problems are worse because anytime the drivers go for their meetings, burials or even when they are massively hired and during weekends, the commuters are trapped and are left to their fate.

To  salvage the situation, he suggested that more tricycles (keke) and shuttle buses should be pumped into the axis  to carry the passengers or  commuters into the remotest streets in the axis so  that one would not find it difficult transporting his or her luggage to his or her place of residence.

The Chairman, Perm-site Drivers’ Welfare Association, Government House, Awka, Chief Chinwuko Ejiofor, narrated that before the movement of government offices to the state Secretariat,  work was going on smoothly, but after the relocation of government offices to the the next bus.

secretariat, they witnessed a dearth or loss of passengers and commuters plying the axis. He said that it affected them so much that they tagged each bus “Operation Carry Ten Passengers” to move for the next bus.

On why drivers don’t normally operate on Sundays, he maintained that Sunday is a different day from other days and that work on Sundays is left to the discretion of the drivers, stating that any driver is free to work or not to work on Sundays, despite the fact the commuters are being stranded on Sundays.

Chief Ejiofor maintained that they don’t ply the streets and “close drives”in and around the axis and that  their route does not cover the streets and “close drives” in and around the axis and open mindedly urged tricycles (keke) and shuttle bus drivers for substitution in those areas.

He said that keke or shuttles should not pick passengers in front of their park and that they can pick outside their podium and complained that keke operations in the area worsen their situation since scouting for ten passengers (which is a full bus quota )has continued to be  a herculean task.

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