In a first time for PNG, a developer is actually taking responsibility to relocate squatters to another piece of land.
Paga Hill Estate has bought a piece of land at 6-mile, and is inviting Paga hill settlers to voluntarily move.
The company has also gone through the trouble of making power and water available, as well as setting up temporary sleeping quarters.
The move is being orchestrated with the advice of former politician, Dame Carol Kidu, and senior leaders of the Paga hill community.
While the 6-mile community has also given assurance that they will co-exist with the new arrivals peacefully, there is resistance from some Paga Hill residents.
With this kind of view, who wouldn’t want this piece of Prime Property. Paga Hill Real Estate has been one developer that’s been eyeing this piece of paradise for the past 19 years.
It comes with resistance from residents who believe they have the right to be there.
But after consecutive court cases, the developer has decided to do something unconventional, and not heard of in this part of the Pacific.
The company has spent more than K2.5 million to provide a relocation solution, including purchasing and surveying the land, engaging project managers, undertaking civil works, and ensuring water and power connections.
Chief Executive Officer of Paga Hill estate, Gudmundur Fridriksson, was at the relocation site today. He said the company was serious about it’s commitment to provide a relocation solution.
The company, with the help of leaders of the Paga hill community, and advice from former politician-come consultant, Dame Carol Kidu, has made this 14-hectare parcel of land, a reality.
Dame Carol clarified that she had intervened in the 2012 Paga hill eviction exercise on human rights grounds.
Amenities include ablution blocks on site and a 500m2 community centre, which currently houses temporary sleeping quarters. Each individual family will be given 300m2 block of land to build houses of their own.
Former residents of Paga Hill, Joe and Julie Konio, moved here back in 2012. They encouraged others to do the same.
Existing settlers are elated at the outcome, they see it as a win, win for everyone. They get access to essential services like water and power, and the customary landowners will also benefit from rental payment.
The question of screening genuine Paga Hill settlers was also bought up.
It’s the first of its kind, a pilot project, and as the city centre continues to expand, it’s hoped the benchmark that Paga Hill estate has set will be a case in point for other developers.
After further development Paga Hill’s value will quadruple. It’s to become a tourism hot spot.
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