By ANDREW ALPHONSE
POLICE have beefed up security for the multi-billion-kina PNG LNG project with the setting up of a new Highway Patrol Unit 20 (H20).
H20’s base is to be constructed in Kujeli village, Hulia local level government council (LLG) area, in Komo-Margarima district of the Southern Highlands.
Kujeli is situated a few kilometers away from Ambua Lodge and along the Mendi into Tari section of the Highlands Highway that leads to the lucrative hydrocarbon project sites at Hides, Hides 4 and Angore, where the bulk of the raw materials for the LNG project would be extracted.
Work on the construction of the H20 base will begin this week after Komo-Margarima MP Francis Potape presented a K300,000 cheque last Friday to the traditional landowners in Kujeli as land acquisition payment for the six hectares for the new police station and houses.
Mr Potape said with the new police base, lawlessness activities like armed hold-ups, especially at Ambua, Idawi, Komo, and other areas along the highway would be minimised.
“It is important that the new police patrol base is set up close to the LNG project area so that police can regularly patrol and monitor the highway that would be heavily used to ferry equipment, machine and materials and the workforce for the LNG project,” he said.
Mr Potape warned thugs and hooligans who have been robbing commuters along the highway that their time was up and they must stop their criminal ways or face the police and the law.
He also urged the people of his electorate to do their part in supporting the leaders and the Government in the LNG project and participate in spin-off businesses.
The new police station will cost K3 million and the contract has been awarded to local firm Oregon Construction Ltd.
A senior company spokesman confirmed receiving the payment from the provincial government under the law and justice sector programme.
The source said the company would use steel house design for the buildings which would be maintenance free and last for about 70 years.
The first phase of the programme would include six police houses, a police station and rural lock-up and fencing of the new barracks compound.