K1.3b secured for roads

National, Normal


ABOUT 9,000km of national roads  nationwide will be rehabilitated beginning next month with funding from the Asian Development Bank.
Works secretary Joel Luma said yesterday the Government  had secured a K1.3 billion loan from the ADB under the multi-tranche facility programme.
Mr Luma said to begin with, 4,200km of national and provincial roads in the five Highlands provinces would be given priority with rehabilitation work to start first in Southern Highlands and Enga provinces.
He said, the other national highways like Buluminsky Highway and West Coast Road in New Ireland province; Ramu Highway and North Coast Road in Madang province, Magi and Hiritano highways in Central province linking Gulf province, Sepik Highway and Kokoda Highway would follow suit.
Mr Luma said  past governments had been too complacent in investing in infrastructure developments but the current government under the former Minster for Works and Transport Don Polye had prioritised infrastructure development as the backbone of the national propensity. 
He said  the Highlands Highway Rehabilitation programme was a joint effort between the National Government and the ADB.
Mr Luma said all the rehabilitation and maintenance programmes of the Highlands Highway and other national highways would be under supervision of the National Road Authority, which is made up of private sector representatives and ex-officio from various government departments.
He said the project had been launched a bit earlier, but due to technicalities and strict guidelines and processes, it had been delayed.But now, Mr Luma said, he wanted to assure the people that their roads  would be  rehabilitated soon.