Saraga settlement to suburb project launched

The National Capital District Commission yesterday honoured its commitment on relocating city residents who were affected by various evictions at infrastructure development sites in the city.

Under the NCD Settlement to Suburb Upgrade project, the commitment was honoured in partnership with the Moresby South District Development Authority and the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop, City Manager Bernard Kipit, Deputy City Manager Ravu Frank, ministers Justin Tkatchenko and John Rosso were present on Monday 25th January at the proposed Saraga Estate site to launch the project.

The project will accommodate 164 block holders and their families who were affected by forced evictions at Paga Hill, Two-Mile and Water Front.

Speaking during the launch, Governor Parkop said when he was first elected into office in 2007, his election promise was to end settlements in the city and modernise Motu Koita villages.

He said before Tkatchenko and Rosso’s tenure, previous ministers did not cooperate with him as they were hesitant to transfer unused state land titles to NCDC for the implementation of the settlement upgrade project.

Parkop commended Prime Minister James Marape and his government for supporting the overall settlement upgrade project and K1 million for the Saraga Estate project.

He said other parts of Saraga too will be on track now that the Lands Department has given their titles to NCDC.

Alluding to the project, he said there has to be a strong foundation for people to change their bad attitude and behaviour.

Governor Parkop further used the occasion to highlight the progress of the project at Nine-Mile Rouna Quarry.

“We have done the survey and are working on physical planning to approve the sub-divisional plan for Ragamuga to be upgraded like Saraga as well. So the whole of Six-Mile Saraga to Ragamuga will start to be upgraded to planned suburbs within this year,” stated Governor Parkop.

City Manager Bernard Kipit said NCDC funded the project with K4 million and the existing infrastructure are testament of this expenditure, adding a former dumping site has been converted into Saraga Estate.

Lands Minister Ross said he was pleased to see residents given properly titled allotments than them being mere settlers.

He admitted that affordable housing and access to land has been a big challenge for low and middle income earners in urban areas, saying the Marape-Basil government wants to address this problem with making housing affordable and land accessible to the people.

Rosso commended Governor Parkop and Minister Tkatchenko for their leadership and vision in further transforming the city.

(Saraga residents and future block owners during the project launch on Monday Jan 25th at Saraga, Six-Mile)

Press release