Minister within the Ministry of Housing Susan Rodrigues is shown the map of the community
Approximately five hundred residents representing close to 91 households in Beehive South, East Coast Demerara may soon be able to live a little more comfortable and with ease. If all goes well, they may finally have transport for the lands on which they have been living for as much as three generations.
Minister within the Ministry of Housing Susan Rodrigues met with the community on Wednesday and indicated to them that the government, through the office of the Attorney General will be writing the courts to ask that an appeal which has been filed several years ago in relation to the land, be heard so the matter can be finally closed.
The issue has its genesis in the sale of land once owned by by a family named Croal to another family, the Kissoons. It was related that the late President Forbes Burnham then took control of the land for housing purposes, an acquisition that was challenged in courts by the Kissoons.
By the time the Kissoons acquired the land, persons were squatting on it, it was related that the then President Burnham signed an order that the lands be regularised for housing, and that was done.
The Kissoons challenged this action in the courts and a ruling was made in favour of the government by the now-deceased Justice Ian Chang who had then ruled the President acted lawfully when he signed the land over for housing. The ruling saw the Kissoons filing an appeal in the court back in 2011 but that appeal is yet to be heard.
On Wednesday, Minister within the Ministry of Housing Susan Rodrigues and her team visited the community where they met with the residents. It was at that meeting that the residents raised a number of concerns.
They indicated that they are becoming increasingly frustrated that they have been living on these lands for decades and cannot be issued with a land title or transport.
It was also at the meeting that they raised the issue of lack of infrastructural development over the years and again, laid the lack of attention to their community by the government, on the stalled court proceedings.
None of the persons who are living on the disputed land are able to access bank loads to do any work on their house or lands because they are not in possession of a transport tr title proving any ownership of the land.
Minister Rodrigues said that after she found what the issue was and why persons in the area were not having transport, she decided to call in the Kissoons into a meeting with herself and other ministry officials along with the Minister of Legal Affairs.
However, that meeting failed to bear any fruit and as such government would writing the court to inform them of the length of years the appeal was filed and remaining sitting at the courts with a view of having it called for hearing as soon as possible.
Once that is done a judgment is passed in favour of the government, the residents living in the area would be issued with their titles and it will open the door for them to access bank loads and also allow the government to undertake infrastructure works within the community.