52 Pigeon Island households to receive land titles

─ As gov’t moves to regularise the area

Some fifty-two (52) households in Pigeon Island, Chateau Margot, East Coast Demerara will soon receive their certificate of titles for lands they have been illegally occupying for years, as the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) moves to regularise the area.

His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali engaging residents of Pigeon Island

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues made this announcement during a cabinet outreach led by His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Tuesday.

Originally, the area fell under the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL). Prior to 2015, when President Ali served as Minister, he had ordered a review of the area with a few of regularising the squatter settlement.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, MP engaging one of the elderly women in the community

That process continued when the government got into office in 2020 and to date, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA) has engaged NICIL to have the lands transferred to CHPA to advance the process.

Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues, MP engaging residents of Pigeon Island

“… as a matter of fact, the vesting order has already been published in the official gazette and the central housing and planning authority will be in receipt of that block transport in about two weeks’ time,” Minister Rodrigues stated.

Following this, Minister Rodrigues said the area will be subdivided and the ministry will begin to distribute the long-awaited titled documents for the lands by the end of this year.

I want you to sleep a little better tonight knowing that very shortly, in a few months, you will be able to receive your land title after many decades of trying, she told the residents.

The Minister affirmed that the initiative forms part of the government’s plan to improve the livelihood and living conditions of the citizens.  Once the process is completed, the residents will be able to access electricity, water and other amenities that comes with a wholesome community.

For those who have pending applications in the CHPA database, the minister said, “I assure you, we will deal with all of those applications expeditiously. And everyone here will be able to receive their allocation.”

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, SC stated that while the issue of regularisation is being address, residents have a significant role to play in ensuing the process is smooth, as residents’ failure to corporate will further stall the development.

“Fences have to be moved, adjustments have to be made, pathways that have been blocked will have to cleared. Government reserved that have been encumbered, those encumbrances will have to be removed if we want progress and if we want the regularities that I am sure that you have been canvasing and requesting,” he told the residents.

Residents satisfied

The residents also expressed their satisfaction with the move by the government to regularise the area.

 Jasoda Balgobin, a mother of seven children, said that she is happy with the new development as that she will now be able to apply for electricity and water so that her children can have a better life.

“The place is very bad and me ain’t getting water is only when the rainfall, I getting water. So, I am really happy about this,”she told DPI.

Indrani Jaitoon, resident

Seventy-Four-year-Old, Indrani Jaitoon, who has been residing in the area for decades said she is happy to finally be able to receive her titled document.

The elderly woman said she is pleased with what the administration is doing to uplift the community and its people.

“I living here since 2003. I am a widow and I have no children…the housing, I think this is very good and God bless the president and all he is doing for us,” she said.

Also in attendance were Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha, Local Government and Regional Development Minister Nigel Dharamlall, and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, Technical officers from the various ministries, and agencies were also on the ground providing guidance and addressing issues raised.

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