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Mori Resource Consultants uses GPS to verify ownership claims

By Zachery Per PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 23, 2011) – In Papua New Guinea (PNG), landowners along the Chimbu section of the highlands highway have received payments for structural and environmental improvements.

Pimaka landowners living on the 12km Dumun section of the highway east of Kundiawa town were the first to be paid on Wednesday.

Mori Resource Consultants which was contracted to carry out the highway claim assessments and verification using the global positioning system dished out the payments.

Principal of Mori Resource Consultant Wera Mori said it could take up to a month to complete payments to claimants between Magiro (border of Chimbu and Eastern Highlands) and Waghi Bridge (border of Jiwaka and Chimbu).

He said landowners who received payments should vacate the pieces of land they had made improvements on in three months to make way for the rehabilitation exercise.

Acting Chimbu provincial police commander Supt John Kale said 64 police officers from Mt Hagen, Kundiawa and Goroka were deployed to provide security during the payout.

Kale appealed to claimants and non-claimants to refrain from causing unnecessary disturbance during the payout.

Chairman of Highlands Highway Landowners Association John Kamb thanked the government for making the money available through the Works Department.

One of the recipients, Biltuna Jackson of Wara Tamba, was all smiles while receiving 2,036 kina [US$927.00] from Mori.

The payment started in Dumun and continued to Mangiro. Another team will start payments at Waghi Bruk and move to Kundiawa.

The exercise is to ensure that the rightful people who own structures within the 40m road corridor get paid.

Mori said payments in the Southern Highlands province sections 13 and 14 had been completed last week.

It was based on data collated by Land Mark valuers in 2010.

There are still a lot of issues yet to be resolved due to the inaccurate data presented by Landmark Valuers based in Goroka.

There are inconsistencies in valuations – some properties have been overvalued and some undervalued.

On top of that, a lot of people missed out on the payments and were unhappy. They were those who had their structures removed.

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