Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Road works not delivering



PARTICIPANTS at a field staff conference in Port Moresby were told yesterday that the road construction industry (RCI) has not delivered to the expectation of the Department of Works, The National reports.

Works regional and provincial managers, civil engineers and staff were also warned that unless drastic measures were instituted, the situation would not improve and the ensuing effects would not only be detrimental to the industry but to the future development of PNG.

Northern-Islands regional works manager Brian Alois highlighted this during his presentation on “managing the effects of competing priorities and the struggling road construction industry” at a week-long conference which ends on Thursday.

“There is already sufficient evidence to show that the road construction industry is failing in more ways than one and, we (DoW ) as the mandated implementation agency, has not been able to discreetly contain the situation,” he stated.

Alois added that the cost to carry out road projects had increased 10 times in the last 16 years, for instance, to upgrade and seal a kilometre of road in 1994 was about K100,000 but will now cost about K1 million.

All these, he said, was having an adverse effect in the drawdown of the national transport development plan (NTDP).

“In the next couple of years, NTDP will be reviewed and, when it takes place, a greater number of the 16 roads which are listed as priorities, would retain their status and the non-priority roads will remain non-priority for another period of time,” he argued.

These 16 roads, Alois added, accounted for 4,217km out of the 9,328.5km of national roads which “is really an unfair distribution of service”.

“So, if the NTDP focuses on 4,217km of road, it is actually serving 870,000 people out of the 6.73 million which clearly indicates that we are not getting it right,” he said.

Alois challenged field staff to provide solutions to the effects as the best way to manage a problem.



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