By BOSORINA ROBBY
FAMILIES living in an old block of units behind the Pacific International Hospital at 4-Mile allegedly had their homes pulled down yesterday by the developer, CMSS, to make way for its casino and hotel car park.
CMSS managing director Jimmy Kim said yesterday that, although the situation had forced families into the streets, it was difficult for CMSS to further delay the hotel’s completion.
The demolition eventually began yesterday morning after previous notices since 2007 when CMSS signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Department of Works (DOW) and Plant Transport branch handing over the property to CMSS.
Kim explained that the resistance from the residents to move came from their lawyer, Steven Matauta, who stated that the people were members of a Small Business Association, a private business entity and have been living on that land far longer than CMSS.
Kim said that the residents had continuously ignored and deadlines pushed over with no one making any attempts to leave.
“We are under pressure to complete our hotel on time and the land these people are living on is where our proposed car park will be.
“How can we open the hotel if there is no car park?
“We are beginning to do the interior and the swimming pool now and we need to start with the car park but these people are giving us problems,” he said.
CMSS obtained the first court order on Nov 17 last year and entered it three days later to which the residents, through their lawyer, effectively stopped the eviction with a court order of their own.
This was also followed with a warrant to the Boroko police commander and his force to enter the premises on or before Sept 30 (today), between 9am and 4pm and deliver full and vacant possession of the premises to CMSS, the complainant.
CMSS than took out another court order this year on Aug 26 against the residents effectively achieving the right to demolish.