PNG GOVERNORS PUSH FOR FIXED RAIL TRANSIT SYSTEM

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Railway would link Lae in Morobe with Vanimo in Sandaun

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Nov. 3, 2008) - The 11th Mamose Regional Governor’s conference has resolved to push for a railway system to cater for the region.

At the conference held at the Salamaua Kibung Haus in the Huon district of Morobe Province last Friday, the governors passed a resolution to put a submission to the Government seeking financial assistance for feasibility studies to be conducted into a railway system.

The governors resolved that they would ask the Government to inject PGK350,000 [US$140,000] to carry out studies on the proposed railway system.

"This railway has been raised by this conference since 2006 as the conference sees that the geographical landscape of the Momase region would allow a reliable railway system to be built," chairman of the conference and Morobe Governor Luther Wenge said.

He said the railway system was cost effective, reliable and convenient for the country to transport goods and services and for the traveling public.

He said the railway would link Lae (Morobe) and Vanimo (Sandaun) that would become the international trade link for PNG in the next 10 years.

"When this railway is built, we will only have feeder roads linking up to the main railway. This means, movement of cargos and freight goods will be confined at these locations," Governor Wenge said.

In support of the resolution, Deputy Governor and Madang MP Goli Mala said the railway system would cut down on the transport and road maintenance costs that were taking up funds for other projects.

Mr. Mala said Vanimo and Lae would become international trade routes for the country.

"Now our roads are bad to worse and a huge amount of money is being spent on road maintenance. When we have this railway system, only our feeder roads would be easy to maintain," Mala said.

With the daunting geographical landscapes of the Ramu and Sepik plains which are wet all year around while the mighty Sepik and Ramu rivers occupy the vast landscape, the Momase Governor’s commented that "nothing was impossible."

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