Commuters, residents and business owners around the Challawa-Panshekara Interchange in Kano State have continued to lament over the non-completion of the project.
The interchange connects five major roads leading to and from Kano Metropolis: Challawa Panshekara Road, Western Bypass to Ring Road linking the Dawanau Market from the popular Na’ibawa Flyover and Dorayi, the industrial and residential domains of Sharada.
The project which has remained stagnant for years has subjected so many people to a lot of hitches and hardship resulting in the loss of lives and property and crippling of many businesses around the area.
Daily Trust Saturday gathered that the road is mostly used by heavy vehicles such as trailers and trucks that are coming in and out of Kano on a daily basis in addition to commuters and residents that accesses the road while doing their normal day to day businesses.
The area is densely populated, which has resulted in forming a routine traffic at the interchange, thereby resulting in the loss of several hours of productivity every day.
It was also observed that the place is now a business domain due to the ever increasing population and how the roads connect travellers from different parts of the state.
However, the dusty roofs and buildings in the area shows that all is not well. But businesses still run despite the challenges as hawkers and other traders are always busy selling their wares.
A business owner in the area, who asked not to be named, said, “Just recently health workers came here and counselled traders about unhygienic practices, and even threatened to start arresting them if they don’t comply, but they don’t heed to advice.”
Speaking on the danger and level of hardship in the area a security operative told our reporter that there was hardly a day that passed by without at least five vehicular accidents.
He said, “For over five years this place has been like this as you are witnessing. We are always working in this dust no matter what.
“Every day about five accidents happen here because of the situation, and the contractors are not doing anything to ease our difficulties.”
He added that if not for the presence of traffic wardens and security officers the place would have become a den of thieves, especially phone snatchers.
Findings further revealed that the contract for the interchange is being handled by the Dantata and Sawoe Construction Company, which has about two months ago packed its trucks and equipment and left the place.
Lamenting their ordeal, some business owners at the place said after every rainy season since the project started they had been contending with dust and its effect on their health.
They added that the situation also affected their businesses as customers found it difficult to patronise them.
Mallam Yusuf Ali (not real name), a businessman who sells meat and chicken said, “Our costumers no longer patronise us; only few among them still find their way to reach us because there’s no parking place for their vehicles, and the entire area is no longer conducive.
“A passer-by cannot see us now, we have been blocked, unlike before, one could park in front of my business place, buy what he wanted and moved on.”
He, therefore, pleaded with the authorities concerned to review the situation and take action.
Yusuf Isah (not real name), one of the executives of the mini truck drivers association at the Panshekara-Challawa area, while narrating their ordeal and how the abandoned construction affects their businesses, said the level of hardship was immeasurable.
He said, “You can see how busy the road is; full of vehicles and people. Even at night it is like this because it is a linkage and sort of a feeder road connecting and linking many places in and outside the state.
“Our businesses are being crippled because of this uncompleted project. We had to beg them to come and do some adjustments just of recent because we understand that they are not in the spirit to work here. Beside the dust we are constantly inhaling here, the accidents and confusing state of the place even to someone crossing with his legs is dangerous. From all angles, we are suffering from it.
“They should come and fix it please for the sake of the teeming masses losing out at all times.”
Daily Trust Saturday further observed that even residential buildings are not left behind in the impact of the situation of the road as the dust settles on them thereby subjecting them to contamination.
When contacted, the Federal Controller, Works in Kano State, Engr Yahaya Baba Ali, directed our reporter to one Kasimu Maigwandu, the engineer handling the Western Bypass project connecting the interchange.
Engr Maigwandu on his part said the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Works was just to supervise the project.
He, however, added that he was aware that the contractor was battling issues associated with funding, and assured that work would soon resume.