AEPANDA and Lyamala villagers, in the Laiagam district of Enga province, have been warned not to disrupt transportation by setting up road blocks.
Provincial police commander Martin Lakari issued the warning yesterday after the villa­gers chopped trees down to block a 3km section of the Wabag-Porgera road, bringing traffic to a standstill on Monday.
Chief Supt Lakari said more than 100 policemen had to be called in to clear the roadblock between Aepanda and Lyamala.
Police, using axes, chainsaws and dump trucks needed nine hours to remove the trees from the road.
Lakari said the road belonged to the government and the villagers did not have any right to block it and cause inconvenience for road users.
They were proper procedures to follow if the villagers had any grie­vances with the Works Department on road improvement payments.
Taking the law into their hands would not help solve any problem and would create another problem, Lakari said.
The villagers had blocked the road to protest the prolonged delay by the Works Department in paying them for improvements to the road.
Lakari said the assessment on the improvements on the sides of the road were carried out by the Works Department when construction began two years ago, but so far no payment had been made.
He said the villagers held a secret meeting on Sunday and on Monday morning they chopped down trees growing by the roadside.
Police will now monitor the area and will arrest anyone setting up a roadblock.