National Capital District Commission today honoured its commitment on relocating city residents who were affected by various evictions at infrastructure development sites in the city.
Under the NCD Settlement to Suburb Upgrade project, the commitment was honoured in partnership with Moresby South District Development Authority and, the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.
NCD Governor Hon Powes Parkop, City Manager Bernard Kipit and Deputy City Manager Ravu Frank, and relevant ministers Justin Tkatchenko and John Rosso were present today (Monday 25th, January) at the proposed Saraga Estate site to launch the project.
The project will accomodate 164 block holders and their families who were affected by forced evictions at Paga Hill, 2-Mile and Water Front.
Speaking today during the launch, Governor Parkop said when he was first elected into office in 2007, his election promise was to end settlements in the city and modernize Motu Koita villages.
He said since Lands Ministers, before Tkatchenko and Rosso’s tenure in office, were not cooperating with him as they were hesitant to transfer unused State Land titles to NCDC for the implementation of the Settlement Upgrade project.
He stated that today was a great day of celebration as they were waiting for it for a very long time.
He commended Prime Minister James Marape and his government for supporting the overall Settlement Upgrade project and K1 million for the Saraga Estate project.
He said other parts of Saraga too will be on track now that the Lands Department has given their titles to NCDC.
He said there has to be strong foundation for the people to change their bad attitudes and behaviors.
Settlement Upgrade project, he said, is critical to change the behavior and attitudes of the people.
Governor Parkop used the occasion to highlight the progress the Settlement Upgrade project made at 9-Mile Rouna Quary.
He said infrastructures are being delivered to the project site with roads and subdivisions.
“We have done the survey and are working on Physical Planning to approve the subdivisional plan for Ragamuga to be upgraded like Saraga as well. So the whole of 6-Mile Saraga to Ragamuga will start to be upgraded to planned suburbs within this year,” said Governor Parkop.
City Manager Bernard Kipit said NCDC funded the project with K4 million, adding the existing infrastructures are testament of this expenditure.
He said former dumping site has been converted into Saraga Estate.
Lands Minister Ross said he was pleased to see residents given properly titled allotments than them being mere settlers.
Lae MP admitted that affordable housing and access to land has been a big challenge for low and middle income earners in urban areas.
He flagged that the Marape-Basil government wants to address this problem with making housing affordable and land accessible to the people.
Rosso commended Governor Parkop and Minister Tkatchenko for their leadership and vision in further transforming the city.