Push to make feeder roads public roads in Santo

The South East Santo Area Council is calling on landowners in the area to register subdivisions so that feeder roads can be upgraded and maintained as public roads.

Elie Kalnpel, the council’s Area Secretary, says registering subdivisions and improving feeder roads are council priorities in 2021.

He says a national consultation process is underway to ensure feeder roads are registered as national roads before 2024 so they can be listed to be tar sealed.

Mr Kalnpel says travel is a challenge in his council area because of poor roads, and he says registering subdivisions is a first step towards roads being upgraded and maintained.

He says the roads from Teproma, Banban, Bombua and Showground are in very bad condition making daily life a struggle for people in these communities.

“I call on all landowners who own subdivisions in this South East Santo area to work closely with me to register these subdivisions,” Mr Kalnpel told VBTC.

“This way the council can ensure all roads in the area become public feeder roads so they can be included in the government’s road upgrade budget.”

Mr Kalnpel says only public roads in subdivisions are included in the South East Santo Area Council’s strategic plan and Public Works Department road upgrade plans.

He says registering subdivisions means the council can work closely with communities in the area and can liaise with Public Works Department planners on road upgrade priorities.

He says, “We need communities in the area to cooperate on this issue.”

Mr Kalnpel says community involvement in a road upgrade in the Banban area has shown what can be achieved when the community and council work together.

He says this week the Banban Community Feeder Road Committee worked with council and the business sector to repair the Baban road.

The community worked with individuals such as the South East Santo Area Councillor, Joel Tari; the Santo Hardware and Santo Earth Works companies; and with support from bus and taxi owners and businesses such as the Kula Bamboo Kava Bar to repair the road.

Mr Kalnpel says the Sanma Provincial Government is planning for all public roads in the province to be tar sealed in line with national plans.

Around 13,000 people live in the South East Santo Area Council which covers the islands of Tutuba and Mavea; and areas from Banban to Turtle Bay.

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