Tiensten: Link road will save lives

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 03rd April 2013

 POMIO MP Paul Tiensten wants to complete a vital road network that will connect Pomio to Kokopo district.

Tiensten and LLG president for East Pomio Herman Yareng have been vocal on the issue because of the many lives lost at sea. 

People are forced to travel by sea because it is the only way to reach the centres.

The most recent incident involved four senior public servants from the East New Britain administration who went missing at sea.

Tiensten said the 7.4km missing link lay in the Illi Wawas Integrated Agroforestry project operated by Tzen Niugini under a road line timber agreement.

Construction has been held up due to a dispute with landowners.

He said the road project was part of the conditions of the agreement but it could not be pursued by the developers because the landowners did not want logging there.

 along the corridor even though it was regarded as a provincial road.

He said the Pomio Joint District Planning and Budget Priorities Committee allocated K500,000 from the district services improvement programme 2012 but it was not enough to attract a reputable contractor to carry out the work.

“We will be allocating additional funds this year when we meet next week to ensure this critical missing link is constructed immediately so we can drive from Kokopo to Tol. Because it is a provincial road, any right thinking person will be silly enough to stop such a nation building infrastructure to ultimately open up access for people to have a choice to travel on land as opposed to travelling in outboard motors.”

Tiensten said their priority was to get the road built. He was disappointed because the provincial government had not allocated any counterpart funding from this year’s budget towards such a vital infrastructure.