The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013
By ABIGAIL APINA
FORMER governor-general Grand Chief Sir Paulias Matane has expressed his disappointment over the delay of a major road project in the Gazelle district of East New Britain.
The project; Toma-Ratunur road project, was one of the projects listed in the 2008 supplementary budget under GoPNG.
Sir Paulias said the project was taking too long to be fully completed leaving people in the area to struggle with road conditions.
“I am very disappointed with the progress of this project. Why is it taking it too long?” he said.
Provincial Works manager Paul Pitaro said yesterday in Kokopo that the delay was due to payment of claims.
He said in an interview yesterday that the project was of a contract value of K4,640,305.45 and involved pavement repairs, drainage and sealing of road between Toma junction and Ratunur, which was part of New Britain highway.
The contract was awarded to G-Man Building and Contractors Ltd and the project began on Dec 21, 2011 according to the agreement.
According to Pitaro, the contract had a 10-month period and was originally due for completion on Oct 21, last year.
That was changed on March, 21, this year however delay in payment of claims by the contractor to the Finance Department has delayed its progress.
Pitaro said the contractor’s monthly claims raised by the Works Department were often delayed by the Finance Department causing delays in the progress of the project.
Pitaro said G-man made a monthly claim for the month of May however was still waiting to receive payments from Finance Department.
He said from this May claim, G-man was going to make payments to sub contractor Covec for some outstanding work on the road.
Pitaro said the Toma Ratunur road was now 90% completed.
He said other two projects in the province in the 2008 Supplementary Budget projects under GoPNG were Korere road contracted to Garom and Malasaet to Alakasam missing link of the New Britain Highway contracted to KK Connections.