BY SAMIE WAIKORI
THE Ministry of Infrastructure Development (MID) will drop the national wharf project for Ugi Island, Makira-Ulawa province, if land disputes are not resolved soon.
Director of Civil Engineering under MID, Mr Harry Rini told this to Island Sun yesterday, adding that the project is one of two which MID had tendered out – the other is for Western province.
He said the one for Western province, unlike its counterpart in Ugi, is going on well.
“Just shortly after we tendered the national project we received a letter demanding the government money before constructing the wharf on its proposed site.
“The person demanded $SBD3.3 million to be paid to him for the ‘right of access’ the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey has granted him to use the site which a registered land.
“The person is a logger and he used the site as his log pond. And engaging the national project on the site will relocate him from the site.
“This is the reason he was demanding the government the sum of money,” Rini said.
He said MID will have an internal consultation with the commissioner of lands to look at possible ways to deal with the issue.
Rini said the proposed site was given to the person upon an application he made to the ministry of lands to use the registered land for some purposes.
However, Mr Rini said the agreement expired last year but the person is still holding on to that government-land.
He said these are some of the areas the two ministries will look at in dealing with the issue to ensure the project is delivered to the people of Ugi.
Mr Rini also says the province’s government has indicated its desire to have project implemented.
Mr Rini appeals to the people of Ugi and opposing parties to see the benefit the infrastructure will bring to everyone.