There has been a low level of political commitment to halt corruption in Region Two where there are allegations of the illegal sale of transported house lots in Charity New Housing Scheme.
The system of house lot allocation during my tenure as a Director of the Central Housing and Planning Authority and a member of the regional land selection committee in Region Two was designed to ensure transparency. The present illegal sales of freehold title and house lots in Region Two have been criticized, and although these matters were raised by Minister of Local Government Mr Ganga Persaud, nothing was done to correct the situation.
The white paper formulated in 2002 seeks to outline the policies and procedures for the allocation of land and payment, and officials should have a strategic interest and a social obligation to protect those who have been allocated land by the land selection committees and the Ministry of Housing and not countenance malpractices involving re-selling these lands to make a profit. This has continued although these matters were reported to the Regional Chairman and the Member of Parliament.
It was reported that some gold miners were buying as many as six house lots in the Charity New Housing Scheme. This new practice lacks transparency, with allegations of widespread favoritism and ad hoc procedures, and it needs to be addressed urgently.
An evaluation of what has transpired would lead to the conclusion that the region and the Ministry of Housing have no recognizable policy and programme in place. President Donald Ramotar and Minister Irfaan Ali should take note of the trends and not allow it to affect the whole of the region.
An independent appeals committee should be established by the Minister with officers from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) to review all the sales of transported house lots in Charity New Housing Scheme.
We are sending a copy of this letter to Ministry of Housing Irfaan Ali for any comment he might wish to make.