By Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby
Department Secretary, David Wereh, in his presentation at the Leadership Summit, said roads play an important role in socio-economic development.
With this on the agenda, the government plans to revive the Plant Transport Division within the Works and Implementation Department, to fix more roads and connect missing road links.
So far, more than K700 million worth of road projects are currently under construction, with missing links in East New Britain and West New Britain to be connected soon.
In his presentation, Secretary Wereh said all current asset value of national roads in their present condition, is about K35 billion.
He said top priority is to connect missing road links, that will open up economic corridors.
In the performance presentation, some of the work progress include:
- 45 to 70 kilometres of Lae city roads upgraded to concrete roads;
- Work on the Buluminski highway;
- completion of road works from Menyamya – Aseki to Bulolo road junction;
- 20 percent of road works completed to connect missing link from Hela, Southern Highlands through to Gulf;
- 15 kilometres of road works have been completed for the Gulf to Morobe highway;
- Tabubil – Telefomin road has seen 7 kilometres completed;
- 8 kilometres of road works for Madang – Baiyer;
- Works contractors have progressed, 16 kilometres of Gembolg to Bundi road.
In the past, the Plant and Transport Division was an important division that was responsible for many of the road constructed throughout the country. Reviving it, would mean roads can be constructed at low costs by the government’s contractors, using its own engineers and technical staff.
However, Secretary Wereh, says some of the challenges they face include retaining qualified engineers and technical staff, most of whom have left to join private contractor companies in pursuit of better working conditions.
Despite this, he says there has been progress with over 462 kilometers of national and provincial roads, upgraded and sealed.