JTA picks Banz as Jiwaka HQ

National, Normal

The National – Thursday, December 16, 2010

THE Jiwaka Transitional Authority (JTA) has declared Banz town as the provincial headquarters for the Jiwaka province.
Jiwaka, which was recently declared  to be a separate province from Western Highlands in 2012 has plans in place and negotiations are underway.
JTA chairman Philip Kapal told The National yesterday that the provincial headquarters would stretch from Banz to Kudjip.
He said this was chosen because of its location as the central part of the province; the availability of land suitable for expansion; most of the land is owned by the state; it is close to water sources; it is located near the Highlands Highway; and it is also accessible to government infrastructure.
He said the ideal location had been discussed during JTA’s first meeting on July 7, and Banz had been agreed on by the JTA members.
This announcement was been made as there were speculations that Minj town, which is undergoing major changes under the national urbanisation project suggested in 2003, would become the provincial headquarters.
However, services in Minj town are non-existent at the moment and stores and other vital services are basically closed.
According to JTA member William Wii no major budget for the headquarters have been made yet as it is still in the planning stage.
He said that once a departmental structure was put in place, further development plans could then be discussed and drawn up .
He also said that the boundaries commission was yet to decide on the provincial boundaries but Anglimp was likely to remain part of Western Highlands.
Wii said JTA had suggested that Tuman River could become the provincial boundary because of the cultural differences of groups living there; but that was yet to be decided.