Police evicts dozens in Madang


THE Madang government says the eviction of families from a piece of land last week was necessary because it had been earmarked for development.
Madang Governor Jim Kas said part of the land occupied by squatters had already been allocated to police to build accommodation for its officers.
“That is a proposed site to build dormitories for our police men,” Kas said.
Jimmy Uguro, the executive officer at the administrator’s office, said the land had also been allocated to the American company Power Plus to build its facilities.
Uguro said Power Plus had shown interest in investing in Madang during an investment summit held in town last month.
The Madang government therefore had to act quickly to make land available for its new investor because it will boost economy for the province.
Uguro said eviction notices had been issued to squatters in the area to move out before police moved in.
People living there are mainly from the Highlands who illegally set up settlements after being allowed to by “landowners”.
The Madang government said the land was owned by the State and so the state has the power to evict the settlers for development purposes.
James Noks, one of those evicted, said police officers ordered them to pull down their houses.
“Some of our houses and crops were burnt,” Noks said.

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