6 Sep 2010

Poor roads promoting carjacking in PNG's second biggest city

10:58 am on 6 September 2010

The president of the Chamber of Commerce in Papua New Guinea's second biggest city, Alan McLay', says the poor condition of Lae's roads has allowed criminal activity such as car-jacking to thrive.

The comment follows the national government's announcement of 18 and a half million US dollars this year to rebuild the city's roads, with the same amount allocated in next year's budget.

Alan McLay says the dust from terrible road conditions has led to health and respiratory problems among residents and made it difficult to attract people to do business in the country's industrial hub.

He says car-jacking has become another problem.

"It's certainly a problem. It's become increasingly a problem since the roads started to collapse. Your potholes are potholes. Ours are just about chasms. The criminals are opportunists and if vehicles are going very slowly they become a target."

Alan McLay says there is no point in rebuilding roads without a commitment to ongoing maintenance.