TOR management wants food vendors away from plant
TOR management wants food vendors away from plant Website
The management of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has expressed concern about illegal activities of food vendors operating across the street in front of the plant, saying they posed a threat to the facility. The food vendors, who had since the inception of TOR in the 1960's, been operating in the area, have ignored persistent verbal and written warnings to stop their activities for their own safety and that of the plant. Captain Edward Kwofie (Rtd), Manager in charge of Security Services and Mr Kingsley Kofi Ditsa, Environmental Services Manager, jointly addressed newsmen on the situation on Wednesday in Tema. They said they recognised the need for the vendors to earn a living, but it should not be at the expense of the refinery, which produces petroleum and other highly inflammable substances. The two officials said though the area where the vendors were operating does not belong to TOR, management was concerned about the susceptibility of the plant to fire, which could emanate from their (vendors) illegal activities. They said TOR was collaborating with the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, owners of the area being occupied by the food vendors, to eject them, adding that the exercise might begin "any moment from now". To avert any unforeseen incidents and also bolster safety, management of TOR in March this year constructed a modern parking facility for tankers at a location few metres away from the plant. The park has canteens, rest rooms, as well as offices for Oil Marketing Companies. According to the two officials, the vendors were allocated free spaces at the park, but they continued to sell along the street with some of them erecting illegal mid-shift structures such as garages, which also served as their dwelling places. The bush around the area has also become a den for drug dealers and for illegal siphoning of fuel, an activity, which caused fire outbreaks in the area early this year, Capt Kwofie and Mr Ditsa added. There was also a major fire disaster in 2003, leading to the setting up of a probe, which recommended that vendors operating in the area be cleared. However, they resurfaced weeks after their ejection, the officials said. The food vendors told newsmen that they were not making good sales at the canteens allocated to them in the parking facility, hence their preference for the old area. They alleged that they were encouraged to remain and sell in the unapproved area because TMA officials regularly came around to collect fees from them, despite the ejection exercise.