Agarabi clans stop H’wayA traffic

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By JUNIOR UKAHA
Traditional landowners of a piece of land along the Highlands Highway in Kainantu, Eastern Highlands, yesterday met and resolved to close off the highway which runs through their land.
In a protest meeting more than 2000 landowners from six major Agarabi villages along the 4.5km section which runs from Bane Bridge to 4-Mile Bridge, gathered yesterday at Bane village and unanimously agreed to shut down the highway.
The landowners decided to close the highway after their petition to the national government and the Department of Works to compensate them for the use of their traditional land fell on deaf ears.
They had given the petition two weeks ago.
The landowners are claiming K85 million as compensation and upfront payment for the use of their land.
The landowners through their umbrella group Anku’Aintenu Landowner Group (ALG) are claiming K50 million for “environmental damage and occupation for the last 51 years (since 1966)” and another K35 million as “land acquisition payment” for the 4.5km stretch of road.
The ALG represents more than 10,000 people from seven major villages (Aga’anantu, Kainantu 1, Kainantu 2, Kainawa 2, Kainawa 1, Kelimapara, Omunayo) in the Agarabi LLG in Kainantu.
A major roadblock is scheduled to be in place  today, according to group chairman Aaron Afantai.

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