By ALISON ANIS
THE freeing up of State and customary land for the development of hierarchy of mega cities, major cities and “national interest” cities in Papua New Guinea was at the fore of discussions yesterday during the presentation of the draft policy on national urbanisation.
Director of the Office of Urbanisation and chairman of the National Consultative Committee on Urbanisation (NCCU) Max Kep presented the draft national urbanisation policy (NUP) during the seminar for Southern region and Port Moresby at Crowne Plaza.
Mr Kep highlighted key issues from the draft policy which he said supported national constitution and major policy platforms, including the Medium Term Development Strategy (MTDS) 2005-10, the draft national strategic vision 2010-50, the long-term development strategy, the land development programme and the national population policy 2000–10 by integrating key elements of these policies into the NUP.
“NUP must strengthen rural-urban linkages in support of rural development, address poverty reduction and the management of urban growth, as well as enhance the effectiveness of the institutional policy and legal governing urban development through maximising the benefits of urbanisation in Papua New Guinea and minimising the social and physical dysfunction emanating from rural-urban population shift,” he said.
He said the national urban policy was designed to strengthen the economy, social and environmental fabric of PNG’s towns and cities by better managing the urbanisation process and urban growth challenges.
“It outlines the vision for PNG towns and cities for the next 20 years, the urban issues and challenges to be faced and the implementation components to be followed to address these issues.”
The policy states that urban and land availability as one of the cross-sector policy area that could be tapped into to provide accessible, affordable and available shelter, health, education, social and community services in urban areas.
Housing Minister Andrew Kumbakor called for the freeing up on customary and alienated lands to developed for housing to provide accessible and affordable shelter, health, education, social and community services in urban areas.