20 May 2008

PNG building alternative road adjacent to last month's Highlands Highway slip

3:11 pm on 20 May 2008

Papua New Guinea's Transport Minister says it's building an alternative road after a landslide blocked the key Okuk highway a month ago.

The landslide had displaced 3000 people, wrecking their homes, and had blocked links with the Highlands region, causing fuel and food shortages.

Don Polye says the road is passable again, but the adjacent land is still unsteady.

"The Okuk highway is very very unstable. The land is very unstable it's moving all the time from the mountain into the gully and Waga river. It is passable now and we've got trucks hauling cargo and fuel up to the highway into the mining areas and the oilfields and gasfields and so forth."

Don Polye says the situation is still having an impact on the country's economy and it is re-routing the area in case of another emergency.