SHP official: Government is losing reserved land in Mendi

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday, April 27, 2011

CONCERNS have been raised that the government is losing most of its land reserved for future development to locals living near the township of Mendi.
This was revealed by Southern Highlands provincial events coordinator Martin Pat.
Pat said taking state land illegally was against the law and he urged
people in authority to do something immediately to prevent such takeovers.
He said if the state failed to do anything, “then most of the land will be in the wrong hands”.
Pat said others had even been putting up fences and were already trying to develop the lands.
That, he said, would make it hard for the state to reclaim the land in the future.
He said the provincial land board and the police force should step in now and stop people from
claiming land reserved for future development.
“Mendi is gradually facing changes and such actions by locals can prevent future development from taking place,” Pat said.
He said the Southern Highlands was rich in minerals and locals must respect state-owned property.
He said the state must institute tough penalties against people who took over state-owned lands illegally.
Pat said the practice was illegal and people should start to respect the government.
He said if the authorities did not act immediately, it would affect development and the extension of the town.