Relocation of persons for national development not new to Guyana – AG

pleads with remaining Mocha squatters to consider proposals 

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, saidthe relocation of persons from their properties to facilitate national development is nothing new to Guyana.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC

He said such things occur in other parts of the world and made it clear that it is never the government’s intention to forcibly remove persons, noting that this is a measure of last resort.

“Moving persons, acquiring property for national development has always been part of the repertoire of powers that a state must necessarily possess and when the occasion arises, the state must be able to exercise it in the public’s interest,” the attorney general stated.

Speaking during his weekly programme Issues in the News on Tuesday, the Attorney General pleaded with the remaining Mocha squatters to enter into negotiations with the Ministry of Housing and Water.

The ministry has put forward several options for the squatters to consider but this has proven futile. 

The squatter’s refusal to come to an agreement with the ministry has stymied construction of the four-lane Eccles to Great Diamond roadway, which aims to address the traffic build up along the East Bank Demerara corridor.

“I appeal to the three families who are still to enter build negotiations with the Ministry of Housing to do so quickly. It is crazy not to do so, it is simply an act that is inexplicable not to engage the ministry.”

AG Nandlall also lambasted the oppositionfor failing to provide leadership and using the race card when the issue is not related to ethnicity.

He reminded that hundreds of private properties will be affectedas a number of developmental projects including the new Demerara River Bridge, the Schoonord to Crane Road, and the Wales gas-to-energy project are coming onstream shortly.

“Currently, where the gas to shore is going …dozens of miles of property have to be acquired and we are acquiring it. Most of them are Indo-Guyanese and these are people who own the land, they’re not squatters and they’re not resisting,” the attorney general added.

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