The National, Tuesday October 8th, 2013
THE Works Department will use the Roads Infrastructure Protection Act to regulate compensation for land and properties along the Highlands Highway, Minister Francis Awesa says.
Awesa said officers and engineers from the department had been talking to landowners and settlers along the Lae-Nadzab section of the highway. The first phase of the Highlands Highway road reconstruction programme began there two weeks ago.
Awesa said the team was working with the Lands Department in setting standard fees for property such as permanent houses, food crops and other assets within 20m from the main road.
He said the Government was aware of the many compensation claims for property when major projects were undertaken.
“Compensation is becoming a major issue which the government is aware of,” he said.
“The state of the government is what is fair and reasonable. We are working with the Lands Department’s valuation office to set a standard fee or price for all the assets that will be cleared for construction works.
“We will also enforce the Road Infrastructure Protection Act 2010 to ensure that settlers along the main highways settle 20m away from the roads.
“The people must know and understand that the roads or highways are public properties and nobody should build houses or gardens on the way.
“There is a high penalty for it and we will certainly enforce the law. We mean business and it is going to happen.”