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Court Dismisses L’Os claim over land at Duran Farm

The Waigani National Court has dismissed an “untenable” a challenge by a landowner group who had sought to stop the multi-million kina Duran Farm “social housing” project in NCD.

The Plaintiffs, Dabunari Boteka ILG had taken PNG Resources Corporation Ltd, National Housing Corporation, Lands and Physical Planning Department and the Independent State of PNG to court as defendants.

The Land owner group was seeking orders for a duly registered ILG that owned portion 528 (subject land) belonging to “Haga” in Hiri Rural LLG of Central province.

The ILG also claimed that the subject land was a customary land and that all eviction exercise being carried out by PNG Resources Corporation, NHC and State to remove the settlers between April and August, 2021 were illegal.

However, after considering all evidences presented before the court by the lands department and NHC respectively in response, Deputy Chief Justice, Ambeng Kandakasi dismissed the landowner’s bid describing it as “untenable” and the subject land remains “State land”.

In a recent press conference, NHC managing director, Henry Mokono explained that “As far as NHC is concerned the land is no longer an issue as per the orders of the Court, effectively the case is closed and the Duran Farm project is a go”.

Mokono urged the landowner group to cooperate with his officers for voluntary evictions on the subject land so to make way as the project will proceed as planned.

He said an engineering firm has begun work on the Duran Farm sewage system while PNG Power and Water PNG have been engaged on their respective tasks.

A re-tendering and selection process have engaged five contractors to build some 2,500 homes at the Duran Farm under the Marape-Basil Government’s “social housing” policy actioned by the Housing Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

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