Police barracks standoff with road gang

Tense police and their families are trying to block a foreign construction company from demolishing their houses to make way for a K318 million road in Port Moresby.

Senior police are trying to meet NCD Governor Powes Parkop to protest the construction company plans and to avoid trouble breaking out.

Police and their families living at the Tasion Police Barracks at Gerehu got  a rude shock  yesterday as they were told by road contractors China Harbour Engineering Company that they would need to vacate their houses as the barracks was in the middle of the Erima to Gerehu bypass road developments.

About 10am yesterday two trucks filled with construction workers as well as graders started clearing up food gardens and sports field at the back of the barracks.

PNG Loop was told by mothers at the barracks that when they went to stop the workers the men aggressively told them that the barracks would need to be removed.

“This comes as a shock as initially the road was understood to run around the barracks and not through it,’’ NCD/Central Commander Jim Andrews says.

In a meeting with disgruntled police men and their families, Andrews assured them this morning that he would meet with the NCD Governor Powes Parkop and get clarification.

However PNG Loop was told by Chief Sergeant Bryan Panniu of the NCD Barracks office that the police hierarchy would need to do better than talk with the NCDC as they did not have the budget allocations to cater for relocation of the barracks.

Chief Sergeant Panniu says that the barracks has been there for almost 20 years with about 76 houses accommodating almost three generations of families that will be affected regardless of which outcome is decided on by the NCDC, China Harbour Engineering and the Royal PNG Constabulary.