Highlands police incommunicado

National, Normal

TELEPHONE lines in all the provincial police headquarters in the highlands region have been cut off since the beginning of this week due to non-payment telephone bills by the department.
This was revealed by the Western Highlands police commander ACP Simon Kauba on Wednesday at the Mt Hagen police station.
Kauba said that the department owed Telikom PNG a total of K420,000 for all the police stations nationwide.
He said that this amount was for January and February this year.
He said that the department was preparing to pay its bills so that telephone could be reconnected to the police stations.
Kauba said that police department was one of the most important departments in all the government statuary bodies and, with the disconnection of the telephone lines, it affected the police’s operation in the highlands region.
According to him, most of the police operations in the highlands region have been affected since the disconnection of the telephone lines and there was also no communication between the provincial police commanders and himself from Eastern Highlands, Chimbu, Western Highlands, Southern Highlands and Enga.
He said this included fax and other means of communications connected to Telikom PNG.
He said that this could have affected other regions as well because it was a nationwide disconnection by Telikom PNG.
Kauba also called on Telikom PNG to reconnect their lines because the department was preparing to pay the bills as soon as possible.
He said that Telikom should understand that without the police force people’s lives and properties would be in a great risk.
He said that the department was here to protect them.
He said that the department would pay its bills as soon as the arrangements were done within the department.
But in the meantime, Telikom should reconnect the lines so that they must would not face a communication breakdown.
Kauba added that police communication into the rich minerals provinces like Southern Highlands and Enga were also affected.
He said that police could not get the latest updates with the multi-billion kina PNG LNG gas project because of no communication.