Wenge and businesses criticise roads report

Lae News, Normal

The National – Monday, July 4th 2011


MOROBE Governor Luther Wenge, some business entities and leaders have condemned a newspaper article which criticised the state of roads in Lae.

Wenge said the article in The National was a setback to efforts by the national and provincial governments and contractors to get rid of potholes on Lae roads for many years.

The article was based on an interview with regional works manager Brian Alois.

Alois had said road works taking place in Lae city were done without provisions for utilities such as water pipes, sewer, telephone lines and power poles.

He said the provision should have been given to the respective service agencies to relocate infrastructure and plan for future installations and extensions.

Alois, who is the Lae branch president and member of the Institute of Engineers PNG and a board member of Professional Engineers Registration of PNG, said there were:

.No classification of road network for traffic volume;

.No provision for accessibility for disabled people; and

.No effort to promote safety for vehicles and pedestrians.

Alois said the dumping of soil at the seafront at the Esplanade, after being dug up from the roads, was not a good idea.

But, Wenge asked where Alois was when talks were going on about the road developments. 

“Being a professional, why didn’t he put his plans and proposals together and notify his employer and tell them that this is what needs to be done in Lae?”  

Wenge said such comments would affect confidence in the business community, residents and possible investors.

People’s First Party secretary-general and a long-time city re­sident Peter Honale said this was “a typical example of so-called elites who can only talk but cannot contribute to the development of Lae”.

Honale, who runs hospitality businesses in Lae and Port Moresby and is a member of the Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said city residents were beginning to see improvements to their pothole-ridden road system.

“Someone has to come from another planet to be able to say something like that,” Honale said.

He said Alois must have just came out of his office at Milfordhaven Road and did not know what was happening to the road system in the city. 

Honale said all those who shared Alois’ view should wait until the road works were completed before commenting.

Wenge said there had been so much pressure from businesses and residents over the road system which had to be addressed. 

He said utilities such as street lighting would come in the next stages. 

He said comments that there had been cracks in the cement pavement along the roads were not true. 

Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Alan McLay said he was happy with the overall road developments taking place in the city. 

His only concern was the uncoordinated efforts by the contractors in managing the flow of traffic.