Railway link is an alternative: Samb
The railway network is seriously being considered by the Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure as an alternative and reliable land transport mode that will open doors to greater economic viability.
Minister for Transport and Infrastructure William Samb said the railway system should be an alternative mode of transport taking into considerations the geographical aspects of building it and thus, will help improve the livelihood of the rural people, especially small household farmers to transport their products into the bigger urban markets.
“We are the leading entity that write polices and put in place relevant laws to ensure that the transport system functions,” he said.
Mr Samb pointed out that the challenge for them is to see where they have gone, what they can do better and ensure that they aggressively address transport issues.
“I mean for example, we need to ensure that it is economically viable to introduce railway as an alternative transport to complement the existing road transport network,” he said.
“If the current transport systems are using fossil fuels why can’t we tap into solar and see if there is options for solar powered vehicles?
“Nobody ever believes that you can do everything in one shop via your mobile phone, if that is possible as I speak then I see no reason why rail is not an option and alternative transport via use of solar power is not an option.
“So you know we got to try those things and I think I got enough brain based in the department that they can advice, contribute and help me to approach government that here is some options we can look into for a new way forward.”
He said the government through the ministry of transport and infrastructure has spent substantial funds on filling up potholes in all the highways and roads in the country year in year out.
“So the best alternative option is to look into new way forward and that is to get those places and regions linked together like from the highlands to Momase and then to Southern regions if possible.”
He also pointed out that he instructed his department secretary to facilitate for an enabling law or provide options that are more relevant.
“Don’t give me the excuse that there is not enough money, there’s enough copper, oil and gas here to provide the money to build,” Mr Samb said.
He said that is how they will stay relevant and contribute aggressively towards the government achieving its vision to take back PNG.