Monday, January 16, 2012

Clan members shut down Hides gas plant

THE Pina clan in Hides PDL 1 have shut down the Hides Gas to Electricity power plant, The National reports.
As 2am yesterday, the power plant site had been inaccessible as frustrated clansmen dug a deep ditch into the access road that leads from Juni Technical College to Kulu and onto the plant site.
The frustrated landowners had resorted to this action in view of the state’s continued neglect of their log of claims.
Unconfirmed reports say power pylons carrying electricity transmission lines to Porgera Gold Mine had been felled. No feedback had been received from Porgera as yet.
Pina leaders in Port Moresby, Chief Tabita Malamu and Komo LLG vice-president Peter Pureni Hagu, were prevented by Pina clansmen at Jackson International Airport from boarding a flight to Tari as a result.
The two leaders were invited by developer Oil Search to travel to the plant site to help resolve the conflict.
The leaders are adamant that the K40 million commitment as per the Bluff Inn MoU be paid.
They claim they had submitted a K500 million claim at the meeting but Petroleum Minister William Duma committed only K42 million to them. K2 million of that commitment has been paid, with K40 million still outstanding.
They wanted the promised golden handshake to the chiefs in Hides to be effected quickly as well.
Pina issues committee chairman Labe Kinali, backed by other Pina leaders Andrew Katia, Kojupa Malupa, Arua Kinali, Kurabia Upa, Tatape Adilo, Rex Agori and John Tumania and more than 30 others physically restrained Malamu and Pureni from entering the airport terminal.
An angry Kinali wanted to know why the two leaders were trying to travel to Hides to defuse the conflict when they knew that the state had demonstrated it had no intention of ever honouring its commitment to the Pina.
“Our land has been used in an illegal operation as the site is demarcated outside PDL 1 boundaries. We have waited in vain for the past 19 years for recognition and due compensation,” he said.
He said Duma and his department were well aware of their concerns and Treasurer Don Polye was briefed on the issue when delivering the K16 million to Hides 4 landowners.
 “We have signed copies of the two ministers’ correspondences but no actual actions have eventuated,” the chairman said.
He said even though the matter was screened by the Gabriel Pepson-chaired Independent Issues Committee, the State’s continued negligence had resulted in the plant shut down.
 “They paid out K76 million to dubious people on the streets of Port Moresby and think we will just sit quietly and allow them to continue to exploit us as they have been doing for the past 19 years? The power plant will remain shut until all our issues are resolved once and for all,” Kinali said.
Thomas Tala Ora, chairman of Habono Block in PDL 1, supported Kinali’s stand and said the State kept on dishonouring its promises.
He said the leaders of the six identified blocks in PDL 1 had delivered on the respective agreements and stood by what they signed.
“The Pina Issue was on the agenda and it was discussed and appropriate agreements signed. Even the other three blocks, JP Karai, Tugu-Tapiria and Habono, are still awaiting their K1 million State commitment each,” he said.
Tala Ola said the State was well aware of the recognized leaders in the six blocks and it would do well to work closely with these leaders or face escalation and spread of similar actions in other PDLs

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