The National, Thursday January 30th, 2014
THE West New Britain government does not have the funds for maintenance of national roads and highways in the province.
WNB Governor Sasindran Muthuvel said this in Kimbe when urging people in the province to take note of this before criticising the provincial government.
He said road maintenance funds were controlled by the Works Department and he was concerned that people who were unaware of this blamed his government for the deteriorating conditions of the highway from Kimbe to Mai junction.
The section needs urgent attention.
Muthuvel said he had been working hard and doing his best to get the national Works Department to honour a commitment by the Works minister to repair the highway.
Work was supposed to start before the end of last year.
He said while Works was taking time in organising itself, the tax credit scheme funds could be used to repair the road to provide some relief for the travelling public.
Muthuvel said he had no idea how the scheme worked in WNB and suggested that the provincial administration should work closely with the managers of the scheme to ensure credit scheme guidelines were correctly followed.
He said tax credit funds should also be used to engage contractors to undertake periodic repair work on roads instead of “letting it to get really worse” and then respond to it as an emergency case.
The governor expressed concern about some oil palm harvest roads that were also in terrible conditions yet not attended to under the tax credit scheme.
This, he said, was having a negative impact on the livelihood of the “oil palm people.”
Muthuvel said he was disappointed that the national government did not allocate any funds in the 2014 Budget for the oil palm roads despite a comprehensive submission being developed and submitted to the National Planning Department by OPIC, which had his endorsement.