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Don't expect automatic regularisation, squatters warned

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicoabserver.com

Thursday, February 07, 2013    

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HAGUE, Trelawny — Minister without portfolio in the Transport, Works and Housing Ministry Dr Morais Guy has warned informal settlers against believing that the Government will naturally regulate squatter settlements.

"There is a feeling going on in this country that Government encourages people to sit on land that is unoccupied and that Government will come at the end of the day to regularise the informal occupation. I want to put it on record now that this is not what we are all about," Guy stated.

"We cannot afford, as a country, to go down that road. We have to recognise that there has to come a time when we will have to say to people who move informally on land that they should not expect an automatic regularisation".

Guy noted that the his ministry will ensure that controlled development is pursued.

"We need orderly development and what we are going to ensure as a Government is that orderly development takes place under [our] watch," Guy said.

Guy was speaking Tuesday at a ceremony in Hague Settlement, where 21 persons were handed keys to brand new houses constructed by Food for the Poor.

The 21 recipients were among dozens of persons who had previously settled on a section of land along Tharpe Street lands, then known as "Dump".

In 2010, the development of the new Cruise Ship Pier and its surrounding areas began in the seaside town of Falmouth in Trelawny. These developments spurred the relocation of over 100 families informally settled at Dump to Hague.

The relocation exercise triggered the opportunity for well-needed infrastructural improvements to the roads, water supply and electricity systems in the area.

The houses that were handed over in Hague came from a request by Transport and Works Minister Dr Omar Davies. In response, Food for the Poor constructed 31 wooden houses to assist these residents.

Ten persons had previously received houses.

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