NCDC wants land board of its own

Lands Minister, Benny Allen, has been criticised for failing to give appropriate reasons for not allowing establishment of a land board for the National Capital District.

NCD Governor, Powes Parkop, says the Land Minister has not given a good reason as to why there should not be a land board in NCD.

Parkop says many of the unplanned developments in the city can be controlled if the National Capital District Commission had a land board of its own.

He said the land board would complement the existing physical planning and building board.

“In the provinces they don’t have the same capacity as us. They don’t have physical planning (boards), they don’t have building boards, how are they going to manage land in their urban centres and the province if they don’t have that capacity?”

“But here in Port Moresby, we have a physical planning board, we have physical planning capacity, we have a building board and inspectors capacity, but he (Lands Minister) said we are not qualified or we are not ready for having a land board of our own. It’s completely stupid reasons. Useless! Unacceptable! Said Parkop.

He says the interior of the city has already been taken up by development while some are the subject of ongoing court battles.

And with the new road corridor from Nine-Mile to Gerehu and to Badihagwa, a lot of land has been exposed for development.

However, without a land board the National Capital District Commission cannot decide how the land will be used and could end up being taken by for private interests.

“The lands department should be protecting the public interest.  There are space(s) that are allocated for commercial and public interest. That can be done.

He further says “If they corporate with us and we plan properly, we can achieve a win-win.”

“But again lands department and people out there, are doing deals  left right and center, so all these investments that we’ve done in building those roads, we might not have a good outcome if it (land) is not properly planned. We don’t have land powers so we cannot decide.”

Cedric Patjole