By OSEAH PHILEMON
THE National Government is required by law to maintain Lae roads, Morobe Governor Luther Wenge said yesterday.
Mr Wenge said the Morobe provincial government is responsible for feeder roads from the districts leading into and connecting with the Lae roads.
He said this in response to public outcry on the deteriorating state of Lae roads.
Many are blaming the governor for the poor state of the roads in the province.
“I am calling on the National Government to do its job of repairing and upgrading the Lae city roads,” Mr Wenge told a news conference.
“The Government has a legal obligation to maintain the Lae roads,” he said.
Mr Wenge said K100 million was needed to fix the Lae roads and bring them up to acceptable standards.
The Morobe provincial government had allocated K10 million in this year’s budget for Lae roads.
However, Mr Wenge said this would not be enough to work on all the roads.
The National Government also allocated K20 million.
On top of that the provincial government allocated another K2 million for beautification programmes like, street lighting, public toilets and other facilities for public use.
Mr Wenge said he had asked for K100 million for the Morobe provincial government to fix Lae roads but his request was turned down.
The Government previously allocated K50 million for Lae roads maintenance.
Of that amount, the provincial supply and tenders board called for tenders and awarded the
contracts to five companies to carry out the work.
However, the Central Supply and Tenders Board bypassed the Morobe provincial tenders board and allocated a K8 million contract to one company for part of the Lae roads upgrading.
Mr Wenge said no scoping of the work was done prior to the contract being let out.
The Government does not know what has happened to the rest of the money.
All he knows is that the other K25 million was withdrawn back to Treasury in Waigani.
Mr Wenge said the Department of Works should explain what was going on with the money for Lae roads.
He said the Ombudsman Commission should investigate this matter to see what had happened to the money that is supposed to bring some changes to the road conditions in the province.