People given a month to move


HUNDREDS of people living in the Nagada area of Madang owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG (ELCPNG) have been ordered to vacate their homes within a month.
Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG executives and Goverment authorities met with the people yesterday and advised them to pull down their houses within one month.
Most of the people living in the area are locals from Madang, East Sepik and the Highlands.
Church secretary Bernard Kaisom said the land would be made available for proper development.
The land would be available to interested businesses and investors who could apply.
The drive to evict the people started in 2015.
However, the people collaborated with locals from the area who claimed to be landowners.
The locals took a court order to stop the eviction.
The church again won the court and pushed for eviction.
Kaisom said notices had been issued to those occupying the mission land on potions 69, 70 and 78 for them to vacate the land within one month.
He said once the land was free, it would be subdivided.
A development plan will be put in place so businesses and investors can apply to lease the land.
Kaisom said the land would be used in compliance with developments planned by the Madang government.
He said the provincial government would be using the land for town expansion.
“Many people did not understand that there is no law on buying and selling of land.”
“There is only leasing of lands,” Kaisom said
Meanwhile, it is understood that people residing there have been paying yearly land rentals to local people in the Nobonob area.
Some of them were asking questions whether part of their money for rentals would be reimbursed by the local people.
Others want the provincial government to compensate them for developing the area.
Kaisom said the eviction issue on the mission land had become a law and order situation.
Police were involved in conducting the evictions.