As part of the overall objective of keeping all drainages and collectors free so as to substantially reduce flooding in the state this year, the Lagos State Government is set to go hard on telecommunications firms over the habit of blocking drainages with their cables and pipes.
While briefing journalists recently during a tour as part of its ongoing pre-rainy season cleaning programme which started a few weeks ago, Tunji Bello, Commissioner for the Environment, said the government is ready to take drastic action against telecommunication companies that have refused to stop blocking the drainages with their cables.
While especially bemoaning how the cables and pipes of the various telecommunication firms are hampering the flow of water in drainage channels around Victoria Island, Bello ordered the private telecommunications operators (PTOs) in the state to relocate the cables or risk having them removed by the government.
The assessment tour, which began at the popular 1004 Estate by Adetokunbo Ademola Road, included Akinbo Salvage, Kuramo Beach, Akin Adesola, Saka Tinubu, Ologun Agbeje, Ahmadu Bello Way and Obalende Secretariat Road, among others.
According to the commissioner, the management of 1004 Estate on Victoria Island needs to explain the rationale behind constructing a structure on a water channel located in the estate. This, he said, was compounded by the prevention of officials of the state from deflooding the area as routinely done.
Bello, who was visibly angry at the dirty state of parts of the inspected areas, said the inspection of drainage channels is part of measures to combat storm water expected to accompany the 2013 heavy rainfall as predicted.
While pointing out the impact of telecoms cables in reducing the capacity of the channels, the commissioner said: “We have sent a notice to the PTOs on the need to identify their cables and relocate them. If they fail to do this, the state government will have no other option but to remove them by itself.
“We are appealing to the operators to ensure voluntary compliance rather than enforcement. Taxpayers’ money is being used to maintain public infrastructure. And by this, we mean there will be no meetings with them anymore, just for them to go and do what is right or we will do it ourselves.”
The commissioner equally frowned at the dirty habit of residents in the areas, thereby ordering the sealing of a parking spot in front of Bonny Camp where traders also sell their wares.Daily Independent