Betel nut ban faces delay

The National,Wednesday June 15th, 2016

THE awareness on the mechanisms of the buai ban in Port Moresby is not ready for it to be implemented.
National Capital District city manager Leslie Alu admitted that they had not done much in terms of awareness since announcing their plans in March.
“I don’t think we are prepared for July to enforce the new mechanisms,” he said.
“We are still waiting for the buai ban committee to come up with the mechanisms of enforcement.
“We haven’t seen their programme yet on how far they have gone with awareness.
“We want to know what the committee’s plans are in managing the ban and know the total cost of those activities that they will be implementing.
“The plan will have to come with a cost so we can prepare funding.”
Alu said that was one of the reasons for the delay.
According to a statement by the NCDC buai ban committee chairman and deputy city manager Honk Kiap, they had until July to do awareness on the new methods, which would include setting up random roadblocks during peak hours daily.
Kiap said if anyone was caught with betel nut in his or her mouth, a K500 spot fine would be imposed.
“People will be taken off vehicles, charged and jailed if they don’t pay a spot fine of K500,” Kiap said
Alu said they needed a holistic plan from the committee that would benefit the vendors, buyers and the city council.
“It has to be a win-win situation for parties concerned,” he said.
“We want the city to be clean and vendors to sell at designated places so when they sell, the buyers would not litter the city.”
Since the day it was introduced, the buai ban has divided public opinion.
Already it has claimed several lives and led to countless cases of harassment by the city rangers, who sometimes harass innocent people.