Roadblocks won’t be tolerated, highway residents warned

National

Minister for works Michael Nali has warned people living along national highways, especially the Highlands Highway, to refrain from setting up unnecessary roadblocks.
Nali made the statement in Port Moresby yesterday after accepting apologies from landowners of a section of the Highlands Highway at Bane in Kainantu district in Eastern Highlands.
The villagers apologised for setting up illegal roadblocks last week and demanding K85 million from the Government for acquiring their land to build the highway.
Eastern Highlands police have arrested 17 landowners who are now out on a K1000 bail each and awaiting court appearance on Oct 26.
Nali said the Works Department under his leadership as minister would not tolerate unnecessary roadblocks on national highways anymore.
“I read on the paper today (yesterday) that our people in Kainantu in the Eastern Highlands have apologised for what they have done.
“I, on behalf of the people of PNG and the Government, accepted their apologies but the bottom line is that we must seriously discourage such unnecessary disturbances to the national highways.
“Their action is illegal because there are appropriate avenues to express their grievances and not taking issues onto the Highlands Highway and unnecessarily blocking the road.
“We will never tolerate such actions and I am warning everyone who lives along the national highways,” Nali said.
“The state does not become a bully or arrogant, the state is guided by law and has got the right to acquire land and also has got a bit of obligation to pay compensation where necessary.

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