By LUKE KAMA
HELA Governor Philip Undialu says the provincial government has allocated K17 million in the 2018 Budget to build a highway from Margarima to Kandep, Enga.
Undialu told The National recently that building the highway was one of the three missing links that the Hela government was looking at to improve road access and enhance development in the province. “The only access road we have is the Nipa-Tari Road and that has always been a nightmare for the people of Hela,” Undialu said.
“Many times, we are robbed and assaulted.
“Cargo for projects in the province like the LNG, Kutubu, Moran, Hides and others are being held at ransom and ransacked along the Nipa-Tari Road.
“We have been suffering for so long.
“I am also a victim of this nightmare and as a responsible government, we want to create an access road so that we not only depend on one route.
“We must have an access route to move freely and access goods and services without disruptions and that’s why we are planning to build the new Hela Highway.”
Undialu said the highway would start from Tsak Valley to Wapenamenda to Kandep and end at Margarima. “We have allocated K17 million this year to build the link. That is K2 million for maintenance and K15 million to open up the new road,” he said.
Undialu said he would ask Engan leaders, including Governor Sir Peter Ipatas, Wapenamanda MP Rimbink Pato and Kandep MP Alfred Manasseh, to support and work together with Hela to build the road.
“The other two is Moran to Kutubu and to the Kopi Wharf that is privately operated by Oil Search Limited and ExxonMobil PNG in upstream Kikori,” he said.
“So we want to open up the 20-kilometre missing link there to the Kopi Wharf, and we have allocated K8 million already.”
Undialu said the Hela government would continue to allocate money over the next five
years to build important road networks.
By LUKE KAMA