By Julie Badui-Owa – EMTV News, Lae
Lae MP, John Rosso, says the Physical Planning, Lands and Building Boards in their current form are ineffective. Evidence of that ineffectiveness can be seen in the unregulated commercial development in zones designated for residential areas. While new members of the boards will be sworn in next month by the Provincial Executive Council, Rosso says good people have to be appointed.
According to the Physical Planning Act 1989, approving authorities such as Lands, Physical Planning Board and Building Board are supposed to assess business building plans before the city authority issues licenses.
In urban settings, the areas are subdivided into zones that serve different purposes. These zones are identified as commercial, residential and industrial zones. In Lae, commercial businesses are built in residential areas and factories are built in commercial areas. The apparent breach of regulations and the lack of enforcement has become an issue of public concern.
Last week, the Lae City Council’s health division closed a sausage factory in a compound that houses clothing shops and a mattress factory. The factory is also located near a residential area at 2 mile. A family reported concerns over water pollution from the sausage factory to Lae City Council in 2014, but nothing was done. After raising the same concern on media two weeks ago, waste management team from the division, led by the Senior Inspector, Paul Wiwi, closed the factory.
Rosso said he previously wrote to the Physical Planning Board regarding issues of concerns, which includes illegal operation of businesses in residential areas and the mishandling of zoning use. Morobe currently doesn’t have an official Physical Planning Board. The Provincial Executive Council will soon appoint a new Board who will rectify these problems.