K50m to build new Banab bridge: Maru

K50 million is the estimated cost for the construction of a new bridge at Banab in Madang Province.

National Planning and Monitoring Minister, Richard Maru, said this yesterday when addressing locals at the site of the collapsed bridge.

The Banab Bridge collapsed 10 weeks ago, affecting locals from Bogia to Sumkar, even as far as West Sepik, from travelling to Madang Town.

The Banab Bridge has been down for more than two months, not only affecting travellers’ access but also economic activity in the area.

Yesterday, Minister Maru visited the site of the collapsed bridge and personally advised locals on the amount of money needed to construct a new bridge.

He said Works has estimated K50 million, which is not a small amount.

He stated that he will consult the government on how to get the money.

Maru further said he has reports from the Works Department that it will cost K5 million to build a temporary road.

Locals in the area spoke to the Minister as well and have agreed to allow the road in.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Sungilbar Disaster Committee, Otto Arek, advised the Minister during Maru’s visit to Sungilbar to immediately assist them as they have not received any word from their leaders.

“Even to date, where our leaders are? Are you sitting with them in Parliament? I hope you are,” said Arek.

“What are they doing? They should have stepped in before you came. I’m really concerned as the Chairman of the current committee leading the current disaster area,” he said.

Minister Maru said the Government is committed to helping the people of Madang.

Cedric Patjole