PORT Moresby, the capital of PNG, is facing a total ban on betelnut in 2013 if the NCDC board has its way.
The commission is considering a blanket ban on all forms of vehicles, planes and boats ferrying betelnut into the city, surveillance at major roads and ports and heavy fines.
NCD Governor Powes Parkop announced the board’s intentions yesterday in a bid to clean up Port Moresby of rubbish created by betelnut waste, spittle and rubbish left behind by street vendors.
It costs the city authority millions to clean up betelnut filth and this has become a major concern since Mr Parkop came to power five years ago.
But the moves by the NCDC board may have serious ramifications on many of the city’s unemployed who rely heavily on the betelnut trade to make ends meet for their families.
Governor Parkop said: “The NCD Board is seriously considering imposing stronger control of sale and chewing of betelnuts in the city in 2013.
“Despite all our efforts and appeals in the last four years, betelnut sale and chewing continue to be a menace and a health hazard in the city.”
Mr Parkop said while some residents and visitors to the nation’s capital have changed their attitude and are embracing NCDC’s effort to keep our city clean, hygienic and beautiful, many residents continue to be a hindrance to these noble development goals for the city and the people.
“This will not stop us from persevering in our endeavour to change the mindset and behaviour of our people,” he said.
“We will continue our attempt to change the behaviour of our people until the majority, or ideally, all of our residents and visitors to the sity see sense, give up their bad habits and join us to work towards a clean, hygienic and beautiful city.