Dam protest sorted: PPL

National

By HELEN TARAWA
WATER and electricity supplies to Port Moresby are back to normal after PNG Power officials took back the keys to the Sirinumu Dam from the protesting Koiari landowners on Saturday.
PNG Power Limited acting chief executive officer Alex Oa told The National that the landowners, who took away the keys from workers there in an attempt to shut down the dam, refused to accept a restraining order from the court served on them on Friday night to return the keys.
Oa said PNG Power officials with support from the National Capital District police went to Sirinumu on Saturday night and got back the keys from the landowners.
PNG Power had advised Port Moresby residents on Friday that the Koiari landowners had shut down the dam in protest over the lack of government action on the tarsealing of the 10km road from Iarowari to Sirinumu.
He said Cabinet, in 2013, had directed the National Capital District Commission and Eda Ranu to provide funding for the road.
It is understood that the road had still not been properly upgraded and tar-sealed.
Oa said the shutdown of dam affected water and power supplies to parts of the city. But all the services have now been restored.
“We managed to (still) get water and power services to the city because the load was low due to (it being) a weekend,” Oa said.
“The restraining order still stands and we will try to avoid similar problems happening again.
“However the agencies responsible for the sealing of that road will have to take necessary steps to address the problem.”
Meanwhile, Oa said the water level at the dam was about 59 per cent of the full capacity of 340.3 million cubic metres.
It has been falling because of the recent dry weather. Residents have been advised to save water.
Rain fell in Port Moresby last Tuesday and Wednesday.

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