Minister for National Planning, Hon Richard Maru and the Minister for Defense, Hon Solan Mirisim were in Madang this week to see the progress of the work being carried out on the Baiyer-Madang road link by the PNG Defence Force Engineering Battalion.
The Baiyer to Madang National Highway Road Link is a critical missing link with huge economic potential. The Government is therefore focused on ensuring that this road project gets the funding support it needs to be completed before the end of this year.
Minister Maru said once completed the 255km Baiyer-Madang road will unleash the agriculture potential of both the Western Highlands and Madang provinces.
PNGDF Engineering Battalion Aiome/Simbai Detachment Commander, Captain Derek Levi,said clearance work has been conducted on 9km of the road from Aiome Station to Asai River. However, technical inspection and maintenance of all fleets is needed for the 42km fresh-cut between Fokaifokai and the Ramu River Bridge Point.
K15m has been allocated in the 2019 Budget for this road link, however Minister Maru was advised that another K36m is needed to complete the project successfully.
Minister Maru assured the Minister for Defense and the PNGDF Engineering Battalion of the Government’s support by funding the K15m required to assist. He advised the officers to make a submission for the balance of funding required for the road project.
“We recognize your efforts and we will support you. Government will provide the funding and it will be up to you now to complete the job.
This is a milestone project and if you deliver, this will be the start of a long positive relationship between the PNGDF Engineering Battalion and the Government. We hear your call for more staffing and funding to the Engineering Battalion for nation building, however it is up to you, the Battalion, to prove to our Government that you can deliver such roads at a much lower cost than private contractors and in a timely manner,” Minister Maru said.