Government intervention on highway tolls needed
BY FRANKIY KAPIN
MAPAI Transport Limited has indicated that the Government and the laws are synonymous to the existence of the Highlands Highway, but it’s the implementing and enforcing of stringent regulations that has been missing.
Jacob Luke, managing director of Mapai Trucking Company, backed Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s call yesterday (Monday) on businesses to refrain from making payments to landowners in order to remove road blockages.
Mr Luke said though he welcomed the call by the PM that strict laws will be brought into force to prevent people from blocking the highways, he also (Luke) questioned when would be the right time to implement these measures.
Mr Luke said as a business, they have no issue with paying compensation, but the Government needs to show when is the right time for them to respond to disasters along the national highways.
He said if the Government can respond on time and tell the trucking companies or other businesses utilising the highway as to what is their plans are, then the businesses will not be forced to pay landowners to remove blockages.
He added that as a business, and the highway being their main lifeline, being inoperable after almost a week is non-economical.
He said there must be some level of guarantee to businesses by the Government, otherwise businesses will continue to pay tolls along various sections of the highway that has been destroyed by effects of climate change and the weather.
He said as a company, they are forced to do it (compensate) as the Government has failed and businesses are left to fend for themselves along the highway, including taking the necessary security measures, given that the expected security interventions from the Government has been delayed.