Dept confounding land grab problem
By MELISSA MARTIN, Post Courier
LAND titles continue to be fraudulently issued to businesses and private individuals in the National Capital District, says Governor Powes Parkop.
At a media conference yesterday, he said these titles would not be recognised by the National Capital District Commission, thereby denying the land basic council services like water, sewerage and associated infrastructure services.
Mr Parkop said he was disturbed to learn that issuing of these fake papers was still happening at the Lands and Physical Planning Department.
"As far as I am concerned, these titles will not be recognised by me or NCDC. They will be valueless, meaningless and worthless pieces of paper," he said.
Mr Parkop said this in relation to recent claims of rightful ownership of land for development at ATS, Burns Peak settlement and East Boroko settlement areas.
"It is a grave concern because these areas have already been occupied by thousands of settlers such as at ATS, people from Oro (Northern) Province have been living there for over 20 years.
"I am not going to allow so many people in the city to be evicted without any alternative places to resettle them as it will be a disaster," he said of plans by developers to build a new Port Moresby suburb there.
Governor Parkop has appealed to the Lands Department to revoke these titles to the new holders. "A number of titles that have been issued to private entities, mainly business houses, and I cannot understand how these titles were issued," he added.
"It is a serious issue, this debate over land that is already occupied by our people living in settlements," he said.
Mr Parkop has called on the Lands and Physical Planning Minister Benny Allen to wake up and do something about this.
He reiterated that as (he is) chairman of the NCD physical planning board, development on these areas at ATS would still not be given any approval.