Friday, December 9, 2011

Tari without bank and power

Source: Highlands Post, Post Courier, December 09, 2011
By ANDREW ALPHONSE
TARI town, the soon to be political, administrative and economic nerve- center of the new Hela province is still struggling without electricity, telecommunications facilities, banks, post office and other civil services. This has being the case in the last 15 years. Any hopes for the restoration of these basic services is deem though Tari is booming to host the multi-billion kina PNG LNG project and the newly declared Hela province. The lack of these basic services in Tari has baffled Kupari ward councilor in Tari town authority, Jim Wake who yesterday labeled elected Hela leaders including the Hela Transitional Authority (HTA) as “irresponsible” while their sweet talks and promises as “thunder without rain”. A virtually concerned Wake said with the granting of the new province by the National Government, the Hela people including public servants and local residents in Tari were hoping that basic services to get the province rolling like electricity, banks, post offices, land line telephones, facsimile and email services were restored and operational but yet Tari is still a ‘ghost town’ unchanged and backward like in the 1990s.
Cnr Wake said apart from the current Tari airport redevelopment work and the Halimbu, Tari to Ambua road sealing project undertaken by international contractor Curtain Brothers (PNG) Ltd which is funded by Governor Anderson Agiru, Tari is yet to see the restoration and rehabilitation of the very basic services essential for everyday business life.
“There has being prolonged power blackout affecting the town for nearly 20 years now.
“Why can’t we have landline phones, faxes, emails and other vital telecommunication services available in the world today?
“Without the Digicel mobile phone network, just imagine how Hela and Tari could conduct business and keep in touch with the outside world?” Mr Wake said.
Cnr Wake said after the 2007 National Elections, Tari and Hela people had high expectations when they elected in new vibrant and dynamic Hela leaders but these elected leaders have failed the Tari and Hela people miserably especially when they could not restore and resuscitate very simple and basic civil services like power, banks, post office, telephone and others in Tari in the last four years. Cnr Wake while thanking the O’Neill-Namah and the then Somare-Abal government for granting Hela its own provinces, said he was concerned that the preparation for Hela to be a fully fledged province in 2012 may get off on a wrong footing without the lack of these basic services in Tari.
“I have a strong conviction those public servants that apply for the positions in the new Hela provincial administration may not come to work in Tari because there is no power, banks, telephones, post office, computers, emails, faxes and other services.,” he said.

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