Proposed Central hospitals run into land issues

National

A PROPOSAL to build hospitals in Central starting in November is likely to be delayed because of the unavailability of land.
In February, Central Governor Kila Haoda announced that the project, an initiative of the Government and Central administration backed by overseas financiers, would start at Bautama in November.
He said the 500-bed hospital would serve as a referral hospital for the Southern region.
It would also cater for Port Moresby residents.
Haoda’s first secretary Michael Ligo told The National that they were still searching for land for the project.
“Land is an issue. We have identified two sites at Bautama but the foreign developer says they are not suitable,” Ligo said.
“We are still negotiating with the landowners to try to find suitable land.
“We have already completed the master plan concept. The government has sighted the plan and is pleased. However, land is an issue.”
Landowner Roy Kunia of the Gorogaha clan, which owns a portion of land at Bautama, said the ownership was being disputed in court.
“We are aware of the project but we will have to wait for the court’s decision before we meet with parties concerned and sort out land issues,” Kunia said.

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