THE Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry has indicated that to maintain the city’s roads would need more than K80 million.
It said in its weekly newsletter last Friday that city council engineers had estimated in 2006 that K84 million was needed.
“Given the fact that this information is nearly four years out of date, and the roads have deteriorated even more and the cost of road construction and repairs have risen considerably, the funds required now would be at least double the estimation,” LCCI said.
In 2006, the Lae city engineering division did an exercise on the length of the roads and the cost of maintenance.
“The total maintenance requirements at that date was more than K84 million and the engineers recognised that this would be too much for the province to do in one year,” the newsletter reported.
All roads come under the responsibility of the provincial government except for the gazetted national roads.
The only national road within Lae city is the Milfordhaven Road, which runs from the Lae port to the roundabout at the end of the old airport to be joined by the Markham Road which goes onto Nadzab.
“The fact that none of the provincial governments in PNG have coped very well with the maintenance requirements of their urban roads probably reflects on the provinces capacity and commitment to take on this onerous task,” the newsletter said.
About 42km of the roads were rehabilitated through AusAID funding in 2000.
It is understood, further AusAID funding to the Lae urban LLG was stopped when funds were diverted in 2004.
“We know that a lot of criticism has been levelled at the Morobe governor for not addressing the problem and it is true that there has been a distinct shortage of funding from the provincial government (but) we do believe if (it) were to fund the total annual maintenance programme … they would scarcely have funds left for any other project.”