Chimbu locals urged to stop setting up roadblock

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 07th Febuary 2012

CHIMBU provincial administrator Joe Kunda stopped a planned roadblock at the Gera section of the Highlands Highway over the weekend.
Kunda went to Gera village and assured disgruntled landowners affected by the Gera landslide that they would be paid by the government.
He said a team from  the province headed by Mori Resource principal Wera Mori was in Port Moresby negotiating to get funding for landslips.
Kunda said on their return to Kundiawa, Gera landowners would get an answer.
“I do not want the people of Chimbu to have a bad reputation in setting illegal roadblocks so we are doing all we can to get your queries addressed,” Kunda said.
Gera Landowners Association president John Kamane said they had given the government 72 hours to stop heavy trucks ferrying heavy cargo into the interior of the Highlands region.
A notice of intention to stop the trucks was delivered to Kunda last week.
However, that may not happen because Kunda addressed them at Gera last Saturday.
He said there were serious claims pending for the Government to settle because the by-pass created following a massive Gera landslide “is running on customary land”.
Yues Dane, who spoke on behalf of the landowners, called on Kunda and his administration to give them a time frame for when they would be paid.
He said the claim had been pending for too long.
He said 140 tribesmen who had structures within the 40-metre corridor did not receive their payment and that there were no proper valuations done on their properties.
“The few claimants who received payments were underpaid and there were serious irregularities and flaws discovered in the valuation and verification exercises.
“Some structures located within the 40-metre corridor were found outside of the 100-metre corridor zone,” Kamane said.