By DOROTHY MARK
THE annual budget for roadwork is between K800 million and K1.5 billion, says Works and Transport Minister Michael Nali.
Nali said the Works Department received K300 million to K400 million to operate and embarked on priorities when the funds were available.
Speaking on Tuesday when visiting Madang Governor Peter Yama and provincial administration staff, Nali said the province’s proposed four-lane road had been considered and was in the pipeline to be developed.
The K200 million Madang-Ramu highway upgrade was confirmed, he said.
He said around K180 million was secured last month for the Madang-Bayer highway.
“That’s a lot of money to start off with,” he said.
Middle Ramu MP Jonny Alonk said engineers from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force would resume work on the highway when that funding was available.
Alonk said the highway would link his Simbai people with Madang town.
Nali said there were huge plains suitable for agriculture purposes connected with where the highway would run through.
“The Ruti Plain, Ramu and Sepik Plains are good for agricultural purposes but need to be connected so we still have alot to do,” he said.
Alonk said the highway construction which began at Baiyer in Western Highlands ended at Jimi River and work would begin to link Jimi and Simbai.
“The Madang-Transgogol highway is in existence and would not need much work but the big work is getting through the Simbai mountains,” he said.
Alonk said Simbai had cash crops and fresh vegetables to supply to Madang markets but transport was a hindrance.
“Building roads into the area is my focus now so that people, who have not seen town for decades, could travel to town and experience it,” Alonk said.
By DOROTHY MARK