Wingti not pleased with Works Dept

Western Highlands Governor, Paias Wingti, is not pleased with the Department of Works for not engaging the Provincial Government in the planning and rehabilitation process of the road in Mt Hagen.

He said while the road works is happening, it’s not progressing as quickly as it should be.

It seems the project manager is having issues with people living along the road.

Wingti defended his people and blamed the Works Department for not handling community consultation well.

He said, prior to the commencement of the roadworks, there should have been consultation between the Works Department and the Provincial Government to handle landowner issues.

“The people in the Province are very good people. When it comes to major development and when I ask them to cooperate, they all come and sign up with me and they look, we give our land, we let it go,” stated the Governor.

“But on that four lane, the Works Department never sat down with me and had a meeting.

“They went ahead and started negotiating with every little landowner and try to pay them and sort them out so they created problems themselves.”

Governor Wingti said he had offered to help the Department, asking them to list all the people that were affected, and he would sit with them and explain the importance of the project and development in the town.

Wingti said the project is going ahead ‘but it’s struggling a little bit’.

Most properties are too close to the proposed four lane road, which is both a safety and business risk.

(Western Highlands Governor, Paias Wingti, with Housing Minister John Kaupa during a recent Lands meet)

Charmaine Poriambep