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Minister of Housing and Water Colin Croal explained that are currently being occupied illegally by squatters within the last week does not belong to the Ministry.

The minister said, “With specific reference to the residents currently embattled in a squatting dispute with the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL), I will once again like to state for the record that I have personally visited the area twice to meet with the residents and engaged their leaders in discussions to bring this matter to an amicable conclusion.”

He noted that on Saturday, August 17, 2020, he and a team paid a visit to South Success, East Coast Demerara, in response to claims of illegal squatting.

Police and Squatters on Wednesday (Travis Chase photo)

“The invitation was from the Chairman of the Better Hope/Success/LBI Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Zaman Shaw, who had reported that persons were illegally occupying lands in the area. Upon reviewing official documents, I discovered that the lands being occupied, fell under the purview of NICIL and not the Ministry of Housing and Water. A meeting with the newly appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Radha Krishna Sharma, and I ensued.” he noted.

The minister noted that the team cautioned some of the squatters who hailed from Greater Georgetown and the East Coast of Demerara, that the lands on which they were erecting structures, including permanent ones, do not belong to the Ministry of Housing and Water or Central Housing & Planning Authority, and that their occupation of said lands remains illegal.

“The illegal occupants were encouraged to form themselves into a team to engage the Ministry to find a way forward. The representatives engaged the Ministry the next day, Wednesday, September 8 2020, at the Ministry offices on Brickdam. At the meeting, the Government’s zero-tolerance position on squatting was further made clear, and residents were told to apply for land through the established process.” minister Croal said.

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