Haʻapai commuters face “disaster” as electric poles erected in middle of roads

PHOTO: Electric poles in Haʻapai erected almost at the centre of the roads have caused inconvenience to the public and road users. Photo/Supplied

Utility poles, carrying electricity and telephone wires erected almost at the centre of roads in Lifuka, Haʻapai have been described as a “disaster” and works “designed with no proper surveying”.

Haʻapai Governor Moʻale Fīnau has told Kaniva News this afternoon the positioning of the poles was made after it was found out the road cut through several tax allotments.

He said it was a “disaster” and that it appeared it would cost government a lot of money to resolve the problems.

Finau said he has contacted Tonga Power’s manager in Haʻapai and asked him to hold the work before he returned to the islands on Wednesday.

He said it appeared most roads in Haʻapai were constructed without conducting land surveying to determine boundaries and spaces required by law for the roadways.

“I think that the best way to solve this problem is to move the poles to the road side and compensate the land holders if they ask for compensation as according to the Constitution of Tonga”.

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Utility poles erected almost in the middle of the roads in Haʻapai. Photo/Supplied

The governor said it was “sad” and that he was in Nukuʻalofa before he was made aware of the incident.

“I am told that the part of the road where these power poles are positioned close to the middle cuts through the adjacent land holder’s tax allotment and that’s why these poles as appeared in the photos are positioned further out from the road side,” Finau said.

“I have asked the Manager of Tonga Power  based in Ha’apai to temporarily stop the wiring while I work out a way to have this problem solved as it would be very costly and unreal to shift the road”, he said.

Finau believed the “roads were designed without proper surveying so this is the  consequence of not doing these jobs in the right way”.

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