Nari crushes plan to claim compensation for roadworks

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GOVERNMENT has the right to acquire land for public purposes and will not pay any compensation for construction work along the Highlands Highway, Works Minister Michael Nali says.
Nali also urged the people living along the 40-metre corridor (20 metres on each of the highway) to stay away as it is State land.
He was responding to questions from Chimbu Governor Michael Rua concerning the non-payment of compensation claims for people living along the Chimbu section.
Rua said that with the K3 billion Sustainable Highlands Highway Rehabilitation Programme coming up, it was important to address outstanding landowner issues under the previous programme to avoid any possible disturbances to the new project.
Nali said the Government under the law reserved the right to acquire land for development and public purposes and did not have to pay any compensation.
“Under the previous project, close to K70million had been paid as compensation claims for developments, especially along the Chimbu section. The little compensation which can be paid in any road development concerning the Highlands Highway or any other roads will only be for developments that have taken place like gardens, trees and houses on customary land.
“Government will not spend any money again on compensation claims because it has already spent almost K70 million for compensation claims on the Chimbu section alone.”
Nali said it was not a new road.
“If someone has any grievances, we are asking them to go to court, justify yourself in court and only when the court says for us to pay, the Government will pay.”

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