Papa LOs demand stop-work

A build of frustration and anger among landowners at Papa village in Central Province resulted in a recent demonstration in front of a work site along the LNG corridor.

The villagers claimed that the work site, which is on a piece of disputed land, was still in court and developers should not be there carrying out any activities until the land issue is cleared.

Joseph Baeau, Chairman of the Papa Delegation Committee dealing with controversial land issues, and his committee led a group of people to the work site to demand a stop work from contractor Curtain Brothers.

He said this piece of land is one of those leased under the Special Agriculture Business Lease arrangement and they have been pursuing the matter for quite some time since the SABL Commission of Inquiry deemed the process illegal.

The land in subject is portion 2465C whose title, Baeau says, is being held by a landowner company and private company.

He said since the lease was condemned through the outcome of the SABL Commission of Inquiry, it was taken to court and an outcome has yet to be determined.

“On 27th of August this month, the matter will go before the Supreme Court for Summary Determination.”

He said the demonstration was a result of built up anger and frustration that the parties concerned would carry on with developing the land area knowing full well its legal status.

“We made numerous attempts to warn the parties to stop development in this deal, but they haven’t. That’s why it’s come to this.”

The locals have called on the Minister for Lands and Lands Advisory Committee to fast track the determination of the matter, stop further illegal land grabbing, and for the opposing contractors and lease holders to move out.

Salome Vincent