Opinions in Parliament differ over road works

The Land Transport Authority (L.T.A.) Management “are not doing their job” in properly supervising the construction of road projects in the country. 

That's what the Minister of Works, Transport and Infrastructure (M.W.T.I.), Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, said in Parliament.

"Due to L.T.A.’s lack of strict supervision over road contractors, civil engineers from M.W.T.I.have to conduct their independent assessment and monitoring," the Minister said. 

Papali’i was responding to concerns raised by Member of Parliament for Faleata West, Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, over M.W.T.I. Civil engineers overseeing work conducted by the L.T.A. engineers. 

“This is clearly a duplication of work and it is waste of money,” said Leala. 

Member of Parliament, Olo Fiti Vaai, intervened and reminded Leala that he is well aware that engineers from the M.W.T.I. will monitor works conducted by the L.T.A. engineers. 

“The M.W.T.I. civil engineers have been tasked as project managers for infrastructure projects around the country,” said Olo. 

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That's when the Minister of M.W.T.I. took the floor.

“They are the Regulators for government’s infrastructure projects as there are lapses at times and yet we have other engineers that pick up on these lapses. And so the role of the M.W.T.I. engineers is important,” said Papali’i. 

But Leala, wouldn’t budge and pointed to the L.T.A. engineers supervising the road projects. 

“The road projects are tendered and contracted to the private sector with the L.T. A. monitoring the project. And then we have the M.W.T.I. engineers monitoring the L.T.A. It appears we have no faith in the L.T.A. 

“It is clear that we need M.W.T.I. engineers to monitor what the L.T.A. engineers because they are not being honest with their work that is my summation of what is happening here,” said Leala. 

This did not sit well with Papali’i. 

“This has to be corrected. It’s not that we lack faith in the L.T.A. engineers.  The M.W.T.I. engineers are there to monitor the project as there have been numerous complaints from members of the public about our road projects. 

“The projects are implemented by the private contractors under the supervision of the L.T.A. 

"However I noticed the L.T.A. is not aggressive and strict in directing the private companies on what needs to be done,” said Papali’i. 

Leala then urged the Minister to terminate the services of people at L.T.A. who are not doing their jobs properly.  

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