PNG Landowners To Be Responsible For Landslide Cleanups

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Residents along Highlands Highway will be asked to clear road

By James Apa Gumuno

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Dec. 30, 2013) – Papua New Guinea landowners will be held responsible for landslips along the Highlands Highway, Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Martin Lakari says.

They would be asked to clear the slips or landslides under armed police supervision if they deliberately caused the problem, he said.

Lakari said some landslips or landslides were caused by man and not by natural means.

Over the year, people living beside the road deliberately diverted the river onto the road to cause landslides, he said.

"If police see that any landslips or landslides along the road caused by man, the landowners will be asked to clear the road and fix the road at their own expenses," Lakari said.

"If not, they would be arrested and charged accordingly."

His warning comes after people living along the road diverted the course of small creeks on to the roads to cause landslides so they could claim compensation from the government and charge fees from the travelling public and motorists.

Lakari said landowners usually took advantage of landslips and claimed money from motorists to drive through and demanded excessive fees from the government.

He said police had now implemented the new Road and Infrastructure Act and if they saw anyone claiming money from motorists at landslips or landslides along the road they would be arrested and charged.

"If there is any landslip or landslides along the road, I want landowners sleeping close to the road to report the matter to the Works Department immediately and allow them to come and fix them," he said.

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