Roads in bad shape: Wereh

National

MORE than 75 per cent of PNG roads have been in poor condition due to inconsistent and inadequate funding over the past years, Works Secretary David Wereh says
Wereh highlighted the importance of the roads to development and the economy last Friday during a government department meeting at Igam Barracks
“The cost of repairing a road increases three times after three years of neglect and 18 times after five years of neglect,” he said.
Wereh said from 2008 to 2012, there was inconsistent and inadequate funding from the Government, which led to poor road conditions throughout the country
“Since 2012, the Government had in excess of K3 billion in road maintenance and that has cost us a lot of money, so we cannot upgrade all the existing roads.”
Wereh said underfunding road maintenance came with a big economic cost over the years.
He said PNG’s growth depended much on the road access, therefore, access to better roads could bring development and services to the people.
“The Department of Works has worked on a five-year programme aligned to the Government’s development goal of achieving 75 per cent of national roads in good condition by next year and opening another 25,000km of roads,” he said.
“For the past three years, we have achieved most of our target, and we are approaching all the road networks apart from the national highways.”
Wereh acknowledged donor partners such as Asian Development Bank, Australian government and World Bank for their donation, which added up to about K400 million per year for road maintenance and rehabilitation
“Our national highways are the lifeline of our country’s economy and needed K2 billion to upgrade and maintain them,” he said.

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