By LUKE KAMA
WORKS Secretary David Wereh says the delay in clearing a big landslide blocking the Highlands Highway is due to the demand for compensation by locals.
The blocked section is at Wara Lai Bridge in Southern Highlands.
Wereh told The National yesterday that provincial works officers trying to clear the road were confronted by locals demanding compensation.
“Our officers on the ground tried to clear the road but the people there are putting up demands for compensation to be paid before the road can be cleared,” Wereh said.
“We understand that 500 police officers and soldiers were deployed to address the escalating law and order issues there.
“That is part of the law and order issue which must be addressed jointly by the disciplined forces and the provincial works team.”
Wereh said the mentality of demanding compensation over landslides must stop.
He said the Government had invested up to K3.2 billion in the past five years building roads and bridges around the country.
The secretary said it included K1.3 billion on national priority roads, K568 million on urban roads, K429 million on provincial and district roads, K329 million on bridges, and K90 million on the “missing links”.
“The road network remains the backbone of Papua New Guinea because it is used by almost 89 per cent of passengers and freight traffic, and ensures connectivity between different transport modes,” Wereh said.
By LUKE KAMA