22 Apr 2008

Price of goods and services in parts of PNG's Highlands rises sharply

10:16 am on 22 April 2008

The price of goods and services in parts of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea has escalated sharply in the wake of a major landslide which has blocked the vital Highlands Highway for more than a week.

Reports from Mount Hagen, the capital of the heavily-populated Western Highlands Province, say in many instances prices have soared by more than 100 percent.

Public buses using the Highway now charge more for their services as fuel runs out in the four provinces affected by the blocked road.

Our correspondent says fuel depots have reported they are critically short of fuel and many have already shut down.

Planes flying into Kagamuga airport in Mount Hagen have to carry extra fuel because none is available at the airport, one of the busiest in PNG.

The President of the Western Highlands Chamber of Commerce, Maggie Wilson, has appealed to the Government to put every effort into opening the highway as quickly as possible.