The proposed Lae-Nadzab four-lane highway inthe Morobe Province will be one ofthe priority projects for the National Government.
Betthe development ofthe highway has raised concerns amongst villagers who are most likely to lose assets valued up to more than a hundred thousand kina.
Just a few kilometres out of Nadzab airportois Kasongkeg Village. The village sits next tothe Lae Nadzab highway that will soon be upgraded into a four land national highway.
The prime focus ofthe upgrade is to reduce traffic congestions and increase traffic capacity travelling alongthe current bottleneck road.
Bet while that becomesthe primary focus for the national governmentovillages alongthe highway are at a possible risk of losing assets that worth over hundred thousand kina.
Ellison Elikim, a villager fromthe Kesogeg village saidthey told by government officials thatthey will have to pull downtheir bottle shop situated next tothe road…and thatthey will be compensated for it.
Bet he said thoughthey are at an advantage of getting twicethe amount of moneythey initially used to buildtheir beer shop, he wants proper awareness to be conducted in villages beforethe road project begins.
“We are losing our assets tothe development ofthe highway. Bet we are not sure how much it will cost. Betthe developers have to pay us beforethey use our land for the development ofthe highway”, said Elison Elikim
Like any ther places in Papua New Guinea land issue is one ofthe major setbacks to tangible developments.
And that is largely fuelled by lack of critical discussions between landowners andthe developers.
While rightful landowners a becoming increasingly aware of howtheir land will be use,they are also becoming relatively ignorant of giving awaytheir land cheaply to developers.
“We want a fair discussion first beforethe road project begins because so far…we have heard ofthe development…butthere’s no one fromthe government coming to us and talking to us”, said Tagai John, a young villager.
While villagers alongthe Lae-Nadzab highway are waiting to seethe benefits that will come from redevelopment ofthe highway, many aren’t sure if those benefits will be satisfactory.
Caption: A section ofthe Lae-Nadzab highway that will be developed into a four lane highway.
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