Funding the key to better roads

National, Normal

THE national  transport development plan (NTDP) 2006-10 will expire next month with most of the plan unachieved.
The aim under NTDP  was to have 16 priority national roads in the country to be in good condition by the end of this year.
According to National Roads Authority (NRA) chief executive officer Roy Mumu, out of the 16 roads, six roads had been worked on by the NRA so far.
The 16 priority roads were:
* Highlands Highway;                   
* New Britain Highway;
* Magi Highway;
* Sepik Highway;
* Coastal Highway;
* Hiritano Highway;
* Mendi to Koroba road;
* Togoba to Porgera road;
* Ramu Highway;
* Baiyer road;
* Wau road;
* Northern Highway;
* Buluminski Highway;
*  Kokoda Highway;
* Buka road; and
*  West Coast Highway.
The top six roads on the list have seen significant changes with the inclusion of NRA in the maintenance programme.
Mumu said sufficient funding was the key issue for the government to meet its goals in having good road networks in the country.
He said NRA raised its own funds and made about  K18 million annually from fuel levy of 4t per litre of diesel sold each year.
Mumu, however, said that the amount was not enough and recommended that annual budget of K100 million would see significant changes and for NRA to expand its operation on the remaining 10 roads.
He said while NRA was working toward achieving Vision 2050, it wanted to see changes in service delivery mechanisms as a result of good road conditions.