Bill to outlaw compo finalised

National, Normal

LEGISLATION that will outlaw massive land compensation demands are being finalised, Works secretary Joel Luma said yesterday.
Mr Luma said the legislation were in their final drafts and were expected to be brought before Parliament before the end of the year.
He said the new legislation had been pushed by ousted Works and Transport minister Don Polye after being put together by the Justice and Attorney-General with input from line agencies.
Mr Luma said this in response to suggestions put forward by Dei MP Puri Ruing calling for legislation to outlaw land compensation claims that were hindering development.
Mr Ruing said the people of Dei in Western Highlands had signed a memorandum of agreement last May during the launch of the district’s five-year development plan.
He said all the councillors and village leaders signed the pact promising that all road construction works in the district must go unhindered basically removing compensation claims.
Mr Ruing said the MoA was only an understanding reached between the leaders but had no legal basis.
“We must bring in legislation to stop this nonsense of landowner claims.”
He said few individuals who try to sabotage development initiative by the Government must be arrested and locked behind bars.
“We cannot allow few individuals blocking government services but rather consider national interest ahead of individual interests.”
Mr Ruing made the remarks yesterday when he and his local level government president and village leaders presented K1 million to Works Department as counterpart funding for six trunk roads in the district.
Mr Ruing said the Joint District Planning and Budget Priority Committee (JDP&BPC) had identified six trunk roads in the district for the Asian Development Bank loan facility in the highlands region.