Highway chews up K45 million


WORKS Secretary David Wereh says the Government has spent up to K45 million over the past five years to upgrade the Enga Highway.
Wereh said that was the first product of the Works Department now taking a policy shift from a project-based approach to a programme-based one.
“The Enga Highway is an initiative of the Works Department and the national government aiming at stabilising roads in the country.
“It’s the first outcome of the Works Department using the stabilisation technology on a programme-based approach to road maintenance and rehabilitation,” he said.
“It’s not a donor-funded project but a purely PNG Government-funded project under the Works Department. We were doing it bit by bit from 2013 to 2017, and I can say that it is a proud achievement with quality standard roads being built.”
Wereh said the project-based approach of making available K10 million or so, tendering it and awarding work to a contractor to rehabilitate and construct the entire road with a fixed contract period had seen the quality of work being compromised.
“After the upgrade and rehabilitation is completed, within two, tops three months’ time, we see potholes coming up again and drainage being blocked and washed away by rainwater,” he said.
“That’s why based on our experience, we at the Department of Works have now changed our approach from a project-based into a programme-based policy.
“We are upgrading and rehabilitating our roads by locking it into a five-to-10-year road maintenance and upgrading programme, doing section by section slowly with great effort, concentration and commitment.
“Stabilising the Enga Highway is the outcome of our shift in policy and it’s a very proud achievement for the Department of Works in so far as having quality and standard road network to enhance smooth flow of goods and services in concerned.”
Wereh said it was an important road serving the Porgera gold mine in Enga.