Governor Parkop plans to upgrade settlements into suburbs


NATIONAL Capital District Governor Powes Parkop wants settlements upgraded into suburbs rather than removing completely.
“People are in settlements not because they want to live there but because they don’t have a choice, because previous Governments and those responsible did not give them land titles,” he said.
He made these statements at the launching of a feeder road on Sunday at 6-Mile in Port Moresby, assuring the people of Okapa that he was holding onto their land title so there was no chance of them being evicted.
He referred to the court case involving those evicted in Morata and how he took it to the Supreme Court to protect the 10,000 inhabitants.
Parkop said he was holding on to 14 land titles for additional settlements around the city.
“Here in Moresby, the people that live in settlements, contribute to the city. All the taxi and PMV drivers, the working and medium class workers, public servants and even the police, live in settlements,” he said.
He said the lack of policy to address this housing gap for workers was the reason why many of them resorted to living in settlements.
Parkop said between 2017 and 2019, he received 14 titles and was now working on upgrading the 9-Mile quarry after having spent K14 million on upgrading settlements into suburbs.
Both Parkop and the Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko had a plan to establish suburbs throughout the city, starting with the Moresby South electorate.
“Our plan is to end settlements with no road access, lack of running water, infrastructure, power and proper sewage and the only way to do this is to convert settlements into suburbs,” he said.
He said when there was an established road, all other services would follow.
Anytime this week, engineers from Physical Planning and Urbanisation within National Capital District Commission would be there along with officers from the Department of Lands to draft a sub-divisional plan and eventually allocate land allotments for the people based on an ongoing household survey.