The completion phase of the Gbarnga – Ganta highway around the vicinity of Ganta has come to a standstill due to the delay in finalizing compensations to those whose properties are in the right away.
On Tuesday May 26, all work along the road leading to the Guinea border was halted and the constructing company’s (CHICO) equipments were parked with no work going on.
Two days earlier (May 24), CHICO machines began clearing the road shortly after the payment of compensations to affected property owners, but tension brewed after those affected complained of being underpaid for their properties.
On May 23, dozens of affected property owners filed their complaints of underpayment at the office of the City Mayor of Ganta. The exercise was headed by Mr. Ousman A. Kamara, Assistant Minister of Administration, Ministry of Public Works.
Ernest W. Doitoe, Esther Dahn and Rachel Monkohn were among those who claimed that their properties were undervalued.
The proprietor of the Gbalalue Business which included both a motel and a drug store was valued at less than US$2000, which the owner claimed was undervalued.
When contacted, the Public Works Resident Engineer in Nimba County, Lahiason Waritay confirmed the halting of the work, stating that it was due to some discrepancies by those who complained that they were underpaid.
“We halted the work and are waiting for the appraiser or technical team to arrive and conduct a resurvey for those affected to be paid before resuming the work,” he added.
In an earlier interview, Assistant Minister Kamara admitted to some mistakes and said a team was expected from Monrovia to resurvey or reappraise the properties of those claiming more money for their properties.
Clearing and demolition of properties by CHICO started on Sunday May 24 beginning at the Guinea border to the city center.