Several Government officials on Thursday evening held a community outreach in South Ruimveldt, to address residents’ concerns. While there, several squatters raised the issue of not having a house lot and, even more so, expressed their disappointment over being asked to remove from the land they are currently living on.
A few of them related that the legal owners have asked them to remove but highlighted that one of the major reasons they refuse to do so is because they were given permission from officials attached to City Hall to start building there in the first place.
However, in response to these claims, Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall made it known to the residents that no official from City Hall has the authority to give anyone land and, even more so, permit them to start building.
“The Government has not given City Hall any authority to anyone to squat on any piece of land,” the minister noted.
He continued “it doesn’t matter what the city engineer department or any councillor say. They have no authority to advise anyone whether to squat or not.”
Dharamlall assured the residents that “our [the government] duty here this afternoon is not to remove anyone. The Minister of Housing is here and you want house lots right? I don’t think you want to teach your children squatting.”
Meanwhile, on the matter of land allocation for the area, a team from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) was on the ground facilitating the process for potential beneficiaries.
For persons who applied but have not yet been given a response, the subject minister Collin Croal urged them to be patient as the allocation process can be quite time-consuming, and there are several factors that are involved.