Allocate State land for development to avoid land-grabbing, says mayor


THE mayor of Wau and Bulolo in Morobe is calling on the provincial lands and physical planning board to survey State land in districts and allocate it for development to avoid land-grabbing.
Soga Gaumina says he is concerned over the recent increase in illegal land grabbing due to a population increase and urban drift into the two townships.
“We have proposed growth centres like Wau-Bulolo, Gagidu, Mutzing, Umi and  Nadzab township coming up and various other districts and local level government  stations in which government land parcels  are yet to be surveyed and allocated,” Gaumina said.
“If Morobe aspires to decentralise its services into districts and LLGs to serve the bulk of its rural people, it must first identify and acquire State land in districts and LLGs on which services will thrive.”
Bulolo district administrator Tae Gwambelek said that a land survey was conducted in 2010-2011 and subdivisions were created.
“However, the survey report is pending approval of the lands registrar in Waigani to endorse the gazettal of the land sections and allotments to ensure people acquire them legally,” he said.
“I agree with Gaumina, illegal land-grabbing in Wau-Bulolo townships is uncalled for and the district administration and urban LLG will not hesitate to evict those claiming land illegally once the gazettal is available.”
Morobe provincial lands and physical planning minister and Menyamya MP Thomas Pelika agreed with Gaumina and Gwambelek.
“A review will be conducted to identify State land in districts and LLGs to cater for the planning and development of infrastructure and social services, businesses and residential areas,” Pelika said.