Defence engineering battalion to have four bases
BY FRANKLIN KOLMA
Four Defence Force engineering battalion bases are planned to be set up across the country to help utilise the division’s capacity to boost infrastructural growth.
One of which most probably will be built in Daigul, in Madang Province after an exchange during question time in parliament yesterday.
In a ‘question without notice’ put forward to the Minister for Defence Fabian Pok, Madang Governor Jim Kas asked if the Department of Defence could consider moving the engineering battalion to his province.
Mr Kas enticed the Defence Minister with the added mention of K1 million of his provincial government funds being set aside to help with the move in the instance that Defence chose to do so.
Dr Pok said that the matter of choosing an ideal province to relocate the engineering division was crucial and that Madang was not the only place that was being considered for the relocation.
He said that due to the need for the division’s expertise in more than one region, the department was considering the possibility of building four depots housing engineering division personal.
Parliament heard that the division in concern was being underused and that relocating it to a key strategic location would prove useful in boosting infrastructural growth.
“The engineering battalion is a sleeping giant and all we need to do is wake it up in the right places to fully utilize and benefit from its services.”
While the Minister spoke on the possibility of one of the bases being set up in Yangoru, East Sepik Province, Governor Michael Somare interjected with a point of order aimed at scrapping the idea.
“Yangoru is definitely a no for the relocation of the battalion as we already house a military regiment there,” Sir Michael said.
A point of order that led to the unanimous decision to scrape Yangoru from the list of possible places to relocate the engineering battalion’s bases.