Landowners want bridge reopened by developer

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday February 11th, 2014


THE chief Angore landowner in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Tari, Hela, has called on the developer ExxonMobil to reopen the Takia-Takale Road.

Principal landowner of PDL 8, Block 17, 15 Oil Head representing four clans – Halapure, Tigira,  Paikini and Jangili – Malex Au said this yesterday after discovering that ExxonMobil blocked the road and bridge from Takia to Takale following installation of the gas pipeline, preventing landowners from using it.

Au said ExxonMobil was a multi-billion kina company here to develop gas resources and landowners had rights to benefit from services like roads, bridges, schools, health and other spin-off business.

He said roads and bridges were developments and should remain open for the people to use. 

Apart from that, no other tangible developments and services had been delivered at the project area.

Au said people had been walking in bush tracks for many hours to reach Tari town to shop and having roads and bridges in the area was an opportunity to make life easier for the people to travel by vehicle.

He said the government had neglected the people in terms of road sand bridges and connecting them from remote areas to the main centres.

“The gas project is a blessing from God and I want to urge the developer to allow the people to use roads and bridges,” Au said.

He said ExxonMobil had already removed the Takia bridges that connected Awa-Tangi and Tari town. 

That was the only road link that people used to transport their supplies into their area.

Au said the developer had done extremely well by linking the road.

He said that when the company blocked the road, it made it hard for the rural people to transport their supplies.

“When the company blocks off the road, it makes our livelihood more difficult – to have access to other services in main centres and bring in new supplies,” Au said.

He called on local MP and Education Minister James Marape and Governor Anderson Agiru to intervene in the hope of reopening the road for the people.