Minister rejects claims

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang.

Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

The Minister of Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, has rubbished reports the Government is not doing anything about the state of Cross Island Road. 

“There are Government processes that we go through to assure that once we start working on this project there are no hurdles,” he said. 

 “The Cabinet has already approved the resurfacing of the Cross Island Road but then again, like everything, there is a process put in place that everyone adheres such as surveys, financials, engineers, getting the contractors, the bidding process and these things take time." 

 “It cannot be done overnight.”

The Minister was asked for a comment after the Cross Island Road was described as the “irony of all ironies” by motorists.

They say the part of the road from Tanugamanono all the way to Vailima has got to be one of the worst roads in Samoa. And yet the road is used by thousands of road users every day.

The section of the road in question is not only narrow but the heavy downpours have virtually turned the condition of the tar into something of an access road. It’s a disaster in the making, says one road user.

General Manager of Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, Margaret Silva, shares the same concerns. She told the Sunday Samoan that for the 15 years she’s worked at the Museum, she has seen the condition of the road deteriorate. 

“It has caused many problems for the residents who live in this area. It affects the business people, their clients and people working in the Vailima area, including vehicle owners,” Ms. Silva said.

 “Two years ago, the Land Transportation Authority (L.T.A.) came here to do a survey and still there has been no progress made with this road." 

There are usually guys who come here and try to maintain the road by just filling the potholes with mud but it does not help, it keeps getting worse.” 

Papali’i told the Samoa Observer during an interview over the phone, this project has been in the works for some time and it takes time. 

“As I have said, the said project is Cabinet approved and currently we are nearing the end of getting the bidders and fix the road,” said the Minister. 

He also took issue with the newspaper. 

“I was going to call you and your Editor Mata’afa to please publish balanced articles, don’t lean too much on the negativity around the work the government does." 

“There are so many good things this Government has done and continue to do." 

“As a matter of fact, we are obligated to any project that better serves our people and this project has been in the works, just may not be in the public’s eye, but it’s in the works,” said Papali’i. 

 “I don’t understand why the C.E.O. of the Land Transportation Authority (L.T.A.) did not reply, but I should have been consulted for an explanation.” 

The Samoa Observer reached out to GalumalemanaTaatialeoitiiti Tutuvanu-Schwalger via email for a comment however there has been no response as of press time.

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