By Theckla Gunga – EM TV, Lae
A group of stranded PMV Operators from Madang have been living in Lae for the past three weeks, following the collapse of five bridges linking the Ramu – Madang Highway.
They said they have recorded a loss in their daily incomes and want concerned authorities to look at fixing the roads as quickly as possible.
The only way they make money is through transporting passengers from Lae to Dumpu, the first collapsed bridge from the Ramu section of the highway.
Since the 10th March, PMV operators from Madang have been living in Lae city. During the day they conduct their business, and sleep in their buses when night falls.
Unlike before when a crew makes up to K700 a day for transporting passengers from Lae to Madang, they now make around K300 for transporting passengers to Dumpu.
Half of the K300 is spent on operational cost for the bus, while some of it is spent on food and other necessities for the PMV Crew.
The collapse of the five bridges in Madang has affected education, communication and transportation services not only in villages along the Ramu – Madang highway but also along sections of Morobe and Madang provinces.
This comes as a change in the weather pattern where increased rainfall is experienced in some parts of the country, causing rivers to burst their banks.
Unconfirmed reports from Ramu Police states that at least 100 people were displaced following the recent floods in Madang.
For the groups that are stranded in Lae, they will continue to wait in Morobe until a temporary bridge is built that will enable them to return to Madang.