City needs proper planning

Editorial

WHAT a mess it is in Port Moresby with what authorities deem as illegal developments already happening.
The city authority, National Capital District Commission, last week took out advertisements regarding their concerns on the spontaneous growth of new settlements and developments along mains roads.
Developments taking place long the roads referred to – Sir Ruben Taureka Highway (Dogura), Sir Bill Skate Highway (9-Mile to Gerehu) and new Koura Way (Burns Peak) area should have been stopped by NCDC well before it started.
It is chaos already.
Let’s look down memory lane and look at how orderly and neat Port Moresby and environs were for example, the Papua New Guinea Defence Force Taurama Barracks and the Goldie River one on the banks of the river with the same name along the Hiritano Highway in the past.
Before we achieved political independence from Australia, Port Moresby, even from its pioneering days, was planned.
There was a department that planned for any growth in the township.
The planning department working closely with lands and physical planning, and works department would draw up the city into zones for residential, light industrial, business, recreational and even reserved land.
Developers had to adhere strictly to zones.
Applications to rezone a certain area into another zone took a lengthy process and much justification.
Mostly such applications would be rejected out of hand.
In yester-years, attached to the above was the Port Moresby Town Advisory Council working in close liaison with the administration discussing issues such as town beautification programmes and problems stemming from parking areas, public toilet facilities and street names and loading zones and film censorship board for example.
The council discussed such agenda items and recommended to appropriate government and private bodies for action.
The colonial administration had been criticised for its crowded Konedobu headquarters office complex for the simple reason that it was not planned at all in the beginning. Konedobu was then a muddled higgledy-piggledy mesh of offices and at most times difficult to identify and locate particular offices.
As the township grew the additional suburbs of Boroko were well-planned by architects and erected in particular portions or areas designated for example:
lResidential area – for the building of houses and flats and apartment etc;
lRecreation area – for the erection of parks and gardens and sporting ovals and courts; and,
lIndustrial zone: This is where commerce and trade business companies set up offices and factories.
Today, Port Moresby is so cramped. And the folks from our rural areas are pouring in to take in their share of life in the big city.
They have to eat to survive.
They need money so they venture into small businesses such as tucker boxes and trade stores.
Most are literally street vendors – standing, squatting and sitting cross-legged come rain or shine in the street selling things such as betel nut and hundreds of cheap goods flooding into the country.
With this unplanned development comes more overcrowding and the chances of sharing goods and services within our urban and rural areas of our country grows slimmer more so in Port Moresby.
Remember, Port Moresby was planned for a small sub-urban town of 40,000 people.
Today that number has swelled and some suggest it is closer to a million.
It is no wonder everything is congested and services from water to electricity fail every so often.
It appears that there is no planning at all these days when it comes to establishing or extending new urban development.

Leave a Reply