by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Lae
Lae’s thriving private sector was approached by a JICA Technical team, and the Provincial Administration, at the Lae City Council Chambers to become part of the Lae-Nadzab Urban Development Plan.
Key areas of the plan where presented to company representatives to get private businesses involved in the project.
In the Lae City Council Chambers, the Japanese experts talked about parts of the plan that covered new infrastructure.
Included was a bypass from Igam to Nadzab to ease traffic congestion out to the Highlands Highway and a new road to Salamua.
Also planned, were three new city centres by 2050. The first situated near Lae, another at Igam-Yalu and another near the new Nadzab Airport.
“Lae is becoming congested,” says Consulting Engineer, Kiyotaka Miyake.
With a new wharf, Lae expects huge growth. The Japanese experts are planning for the expansion of Lae City, with more roads linking people to better health and education facilities.
But, there are challenges in the plan. Land availability was raised by participants.
Land in Lae is either been squatted on by illegal settlers or taken illegally. Court injunctions prevent rightful parties from ownership.
“The issue raised is people are using laws to their advantage, the National Lands and physical planning department is aware of this and we are working on a solution,” said Provincial Planner, Francis Japu.
But, the purpose for today’s discussions was to get businesses in Lae’s thriving private sector to support these aspirations for development.