By JAMES GUMUNO
ENGA police commander is warning people living along the Okuk Highway in his province for the final time to stay away from the road and stop demanding money from the travelling public.
Acting Superintendent George Kakas told The National yesterday from Wabag that anyone caught demanding compensation for the section of the road affected by landslides would face a new law under the Transport and Infrastructure Act.
“We are experiencing the wet season in the province and many sections of the road like Maip, Mulitaka in Laiagam-Porgera and other sections near the Western Highlands border are affected by landslips,” he said.
Kakas urged people not to take advantage of the natural disaster by setting roadblocks or demanding compensation from the Works Department before clearing the road.
“The road belongs to the government, you do not have any right to claim compensation and set roadblocks, this is a criminal act,”Kakas said.
He said that anyone seen setting roadblocks and demanding compensation, he or she would be arrested and charged.
Kakas said that the maximum penalty for the offence was K500,000 fine or in default five years’ jail with hard labour.
He said people caught removing any structure of the bridges or digging trenches across the road, could be fined up to K1 million or in default 10 years’ in jail.
“The penalties in the new Transport and Infrastructure Act are very severe but I will be more than happy to apply that on people taking the law into their own hands,” Kakas said.
He appealed to the people to report any section of the road blocked by landslips to the Works Department.
He said that for the people to clear the roadblock and charge the travelling public like in the past would not be tolerated.
By JAMES GUMUNO