Some seventy-six (76) residents from regularised sections of Greenwich Park (Railway Embankment) Stewartville/Uitvlugt Sideline Dam and Tuschen (Railway Embankment), Region Three received their Land Titles during an exercise at the Greenwich Park Primary School on Thursday.
Minister of Housing and Water, Hon. Collin Croal presented the Certificates of Title to a number of residents at the activity. Parliamentary Secretary, Mr. Vickash Ramkissoon and Regional Chairman, Mr. Ishan Ayube also handed over some of the Titles during the event. Other regional officials, the Director of Community Development at the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), Mr. Gladwin Charles and staff were also present.
The Minister stated that the regularisation process is a part of the government’s plan to transform the country and improve the living conditions of Guyanese.
“We understand that you require development for yourself and development for yourself has to start with you having the ability to own your own space,” Minister Croal said. He further noted that the Titles put the landowners in a position to provide safer and stable housing for their families.
A total of one-hundred-seventy-four (174) informal settlers have been residing in the three areas for years. Registration for the ownership documents was done on December 10-11, 2022, following a meeting with Minister Croal in September 2022. Processing of the remaining Titles will continue with the cooperation of the other persons.
Minister Croal further noted that the Central Housing and Planning Authority recorded some thirteen squatting areas in the region after an assessment last year, for which the agency will be working with to deliver Titles during the first quarter of 2023. He further noted that no new squatting will be recognised, as the government takes a strong stance against the illegal activity and the Ministry of Housing and Water has also implemented a structured housing programme that eradicates the need for squatting. In zero-tolerance zones, the Minister said that CHPA will have to proceed with relocation and resettlement programmes. These programmes will be done with a humanitarian approach to ensure that all parties are satisfied. To this end, the Minister pleaded with residents in squatting areas to do the “right thing” and to work with the government to facilitate a smooth process.
Ms. Bibi Farida Khan who has been living at the Stewartville/Uitvlugt Sideline Dam for more than four decades and expressed satisfaction with the work of the Ministry on Thursday. She noted that the land title now represents a legacy she can leave behind for her children and is ecstatic that she can close this chapter of her life.
“Now I get my title so I’m very happy [and] proud of the government for doing something good for us,” said Ms. Khan
Another resident of the Sideline Dam, sixty-five-year-old Mr. Rohan Kishun, who has been residing in the area for close to forty-five years, also noted contentment with the work of the government. With his ownership document in hand, he now plans to renovate his home.
“Me gah mek up me place and so on and live better,” Mr. Kishun said, as he expressed his happiness at receiving the Title.
During Thursday’s activity, several infrastructure projects ongoing in the region were highlighted by the Minister, including the Schoonord to Crane Four-Lane Highway. Construction is also ongoing for the first 100 low-incomes through a Memorandum of Understanding with Republic Bank.
Photos: Anil Seelall, CHPA PR Dept.