Aihi pledges to ‘power up’ Kairuku

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, December 29, 2010

 KAIRUKU-Hiri MP Paru Aihi said he is committed to having electricity supplied throughout his electorate.

He was responding to queries about his plans on rural electrification.

Aihi said he has had numerous discussions with PNG Power Ltd about extending the electricity grid beyond Sabusa.

“While they were favourably disposed to connect, the relative cost was astronomical and my office cannot afford it.

“The alternative is for my joint district planning and budget priority committee to divert a huge portion of the DSIP funds to the project, to the detriment of all other vital services such as education, health, clean and safe drinking water and law and order. 

“I could not allow that,” he said.

Aihi said he had sanctioned a feasibility study on building a hydropower plant on the Angabanga River to supply electricity to Mekeo, Kuni and Kairuku villages.

“The total cost of such a plant is going to be more than K30 million and with no real economic activities of substances in Kairuku, I could not justify such a huge capital outlay by the government,” he said.

Aihi, who joined the National Alliance party, said he was sure that the Kairuku-Hiri communities without electricity supply would be connected in the medium term.

“I am not one who jumps around and I did not move unilaterally.

“I consulted all my key supporters in my electorate and they all agreed that I move,” he said.

On complaints about his website,  the member said the set-up cost was minimal whereas spending that money on the electricity supply project would not even get the PNG Power linesmen on the road.

“Our electorate is part of the global community and I am aware that learned persons and students have found it useful.

“But I concede that we have to update the information,” he said.

Aihi also invited his recent critics to meet with him at his Badili electorate office to discuss their concerns.