The Edo State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development on Wednesday began demolition of illegal structures erected under high tension cables and other unauthorised places across the State.
Officials of the Ministry began the exercise with the demolition of stores, shops and drinking bars built under high tension cables in Abuja quarters in Ugbor area of GRA in Benin City.
Heavily-armed security operatives served as back-up for the officials.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Erimona Edorodion, had last week, explained that the exercise became necessary to address the challenge of poor living and working environment and incessant cases of flooding in urban centres.
According ti him, “The exercise will involve development control activities to ensure that illegal structures which are poorly constructed and wrongly sited are demolished.
“It will also ensure that developments that are involved in the unlawful discharge of sewage, and industrial wastes into our environment are sanctioned. This is in accordance with the provisions of the State’s Extant Town Planning and Environmental Laws and Regulations and to ensure that our living and working environment is safe, healthy, convenient and aesthetically pleasing.”
He added that Illegal structures, which would be affected in the demolition exercise include building structures on government acquisitions, public schools and water ways, roof eave-extensions, structures erected on the right of way of roads/streets, moats, river banks, TCN high tension lines, all attachments on wall fence, caravans, kiosks and wooden sheds.
One of the affected traders, Ike Akachukwu, confirmed that Governor Godwin Obaseki met with them last year, informing them of the State Government’s intention to demolish shops, stores and residential buildings under high tension cables in the area for their safety.