PMV owners say ‘Polye must be crazy’

National, Normal


Operators of PMVs and trucking companies based in Western Highlands have described Works Minister Don Polye as “crazy” when he proposed to impose the user-pay policy on the Highlands Highway.
They said yesterday that they were spending huge amounts of money every week to fix their trucks and buses breaking down on the deteriorating sections of the highway.
They said on top of that, a lot of money was also spend on vehicle registration, safety stickers and heavy highway licences.
Therefore, it was not justified that they should pay more, they said.
Polye, who is also the deputy prime minister, announced last Thursday that truckers, PMV operators and all users of the Highlands Highway would be required to pay for the use of the road.
He explained that the national government was exploring a new financial modelling system to make the Highlands Highway a self-sustaining national asset.
Polye was speaking when receiving a report from ExxonMobil on the upgrade of the
Highlands Highway.
He then suggested that users of the highway should pay for its maintenance.
Peter Ulup, a PMV operator based at Waghi Bridge in the North Waghi district, said he was paying K1,400 for registration, insurance and another K50 for a safety sticker for one of his buses annually to travel on the road.
Ulup, who owns four 25-seater buses now on the road, said on top of that, he had to pay his drivers and crews and pay for spare parts and the maintenance of his buses.
He also has to repay his bank loan.