Minister of Housing and Water Irfaan Ali told Cane Grove, Mahaica residents that the plans to regularise the community will result in some relocation.
He was at the time speaking with residents at the first in a series of consultations for regularising the community, held on Tuesday, the Government Information Agency (GINA) reported.
The meeting, which included officials from the ministry’s planning unit, discussed the development plan and established a committee to deal with minor issues. The issue of a wider access road in the coconut dam area, in order for residents to have vehicular access to their homes, was raised. They offered no objections to the pursuit of an occupational survey for the area, GINA said.
Ali was quoted as saying that officials have been working tirelessly to find a solution to the two-fold housing issue that is currently faced by residents. “Firstly, you have built your homes and everything but you do not have any title of ownership or document to those lands, so we are here to move forward to have the area regularised, to outline the process of regularizing the area…secondly, there is the need to identify possible locations for a small housing development to house the number of persons who would fall out of the regularisation area when the task would have been completed,” he said.
The minister also noted that one of the difficulties in Cane Grove is the need to conduct an additional occupational survey as more persons have built homes since the first survey was done. “This is the foremost task at hand, which would begin within one week and would take approximately six weeks to be completed…Towards this end, the Ministry of Housing and Water, will be collaborating with the Lands and Surveys Department to expedite the process,” he said.
Further consultations will then be held to craft a cadastral plan for current and future residents. “In the Cadastral plan, this is where the difficulty will arise because in Cane Grove, we have to put palls, and some people might fall between two palls…when we complete the occupational survey and move onto the cadastral survey you will have a situation where some people will have to be relocated, it is not something we can avoid, and it is due to the unstructured way in which persons would have occupied the land…We will have to look at small areas to develop some house lots for persons who would not fit into the cadastral plan, this is the reality and we have to face it,” Ali explained. He then urged residents to cooperate with government to ensure a smooth transition process.