By PETER NUKUNTS
AS YOU drive from Manu service station along Tumuru Road, there is a newly built tucker shop just opposite the road side. There is still work in progress on this tucker shop as I pen this.
There are few things that come to mind straight away after seeing this construction.
Firstly, this is a designated residential area and one would wonder if erecting such a place for a commercial purposes is approved by regulatory authorities like the NCDC Physical Planning Board.
If you look around the city, there are many similar stories of numerous tucker shops being built in front of residential properties.
Some of the even sell beer and you can imagine the noise and disturbance that come with this during busy trading hours.
And from a regulatory stand point, is there a registry of such activities by the NCDC for the rates and sanitation? Also from a planning perspective, can residential leases serve dual purposes of commercial leases since the tucker shop is trading as a small scale commercial entity?
This is not to discourage small scale businesses such as these but rather, to do things in compliance with regulatory authorities in line with the physical planning responsibilities. Tucker shops and other small to medium business activities should be encouraged and promoted by all means but regulated and controlled in designated areas.
The NCDC Physical Planning Board has been too lenient to accept such tucker shops sprouting up like mushrooms in all parts of the city.
This is all about proper town planning and doing it in line with international best practice standards. We are part of the global village and our towns and cities should be structured in such manner.
Currently, in Pt Moresby you see people putting up structures and modifications at their own choice. Certain areas were zoned with specific types of houses. That segregation is no longer there anymore. Have the municipal authorities lost touch and have been dictated to by the growing influence of such infiltration?
How do we present ourselves as a properly structured city to our visitors coming in from abroad for holidays? The NCDC Physical Planning Board and Department of Lands and Physical Planning need to visit their planning mandates again to remedy such oversights.
While reviewing their mandates in light of such unregulated behaviour, they should also designate certain zones to accommodate certain informal sector activities. And also revisit the need for certain zoned areas to have certain types of houses.
Any need for modifications to houses and additional structures should always be based on permits. Any breach of such regulations must attract hefty fines or other penalties.
Such information should be disseminated to the print and electronic media outlets. It would also be beneficial if a hot line toll free number can be available to report such misdemeanors. If this is happening in the capital city, you can imagine the chaos in other smaller centers.
It also goes back to having an effective regulatory authority managing such changes for the desired outcomes. -Peter Nukunts is a freelancer.
By PETER NUKUNTS