Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Gov't to relocate some squatters from overcrowded settlements

Published:Thursday | April 6, 2017 | 4:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Dr Horace Chang

Minister Without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Dr Horace Chang signalled yesterday that the Government was taking steps to relocate some squatters in settlements he described as "dense".

In his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, Chang said that if the country were to succeed in its efforts to address squatting, it should be addressed as a national programme and not as a ploy by an administration to secure votes.

"There are some informal settlements that are so dense that the only way we can adequately upgrade the infrastructure and improve the lives of the residents is to relocate some persons," Chang told his parliamentary colleagues.

Chang argued that some squatter settlements were located in environmentally sensitive areas, and as such, "they simply cannot be allowed to remain".

The minister with portfolio responsibility for housing also announced plans to commence model housing projects in west Kingston, including Denham Town.

Providing an update on dredging works at the Kingston Harbour, Chang said that to date, 50 per cent of the work had been completed.

He said that works to upgrade the capacity of Gordon Cay to handle the largest ships traversing the Panama Canal was to get started soon.

Chang also divulged that Kingston Wharves Limited had been aggressively upgrading its capacity. He said that it had also moved to establish itself as a leading logistics service provider, with the construction of a new 160,000 square foot "total logistics" facility approaching completion.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com