Roadblock, compo bill welcomed

National, Normal

The National – Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HIGHLANDS community relation officer for Asian Development Bank and government-funded road projects based in Mt Hagen, has welcome the new bill passed by parliament to outlaw roadblocks and compensation demands on roads.
John Moksy told The National last Friday that unnecessary roadblocks and compensation were two major setbacks for Asian Development Bank (ADB), government and contractors working on the roads jointly funded by the bank and national government in the region.
Moksy commended Deputy Prime Minister Don Polye for introducing the bill in parliament which was fully supported by the elected leaders last week.
He said ADB, which is funding many road projects in the highlands region, welcomed the new bill.
He said in the past, ADB and contractors working on the roads were working under too much pressure from the people who demanded compensation on anything beside the road that was removed during the construction phase.
Moksy said sometimes the people went to the extreme of damaging the machines and attacking the contractors working on the road.
He said this was a major setback for the contractors and they were unable to complete the projects on time.
He said the contractors even dug deep into their pockets to engage armed policemen to be present at the construction site while they worked on the road.
Moksy said the mindset of the majority of the people in the highlands was not fully developed because they wanted compensation and, at the same time, they wanted to benefit from the good road network.
He said the mentality of claiming unnecessary compensations and illegal roadblocks was now become a thing of the past.
He said with the new bill in place, it would help the contractors to speed up the work and complete their projects in a given time frame.
The bill received overwhelming support of 62-0 votes in parliament when introduced by Polye, who is also the Works Minister.
It outlawed roadblocks and compensation demands on the roads in the country.