Sat | Jul 24, 2021

Landowner sues NWA for $18m

Published:Sunday | March 17, 2019 | 12:00 AMNickoy Wilson - Gleaner Writer

The National Works Agency (NWA) is being sued for $18 million by a St Mary resident who claims that the state-owned entity failed to compensate him for lands acquired for the construction of the Ocho Rios bypass.

In documents obtained by The Gleaner, the resident, Conrad Paul Chong, wants a declaration of the court that the failure of the agency to compensate him for his lands constitutes a breach of his constitutional rights.

He also wants an order from the court compelling the NWA to pay him the amount owed with interest representing the current value of the acquired lands.

Chong states in his affidavit that he was the sole owner of two parcels of land in the parish of St Ann and was approached some time in the early 1990s by the NWA to acquire portions for the construction of the bypass.

Exchange of Lands

He claimed that it was agreed that he could be compensated by way of an exchange of lands of comparable value in the northern town of Ocho Rios.

According to Chong, a survey was carried out on his lands in 1996, following the acquisition of the property by the Works Agency.

On inquiry with the authorities, Chong said that he was told that the exchange of land would not be possible as a minister of government was interested in the portion of land he was to be given in exchange.

Chong then said that he acquired the services of a land surveyor to do a valuation of the lands acquired by the NWA and arrived at a value of just over $6 million and sent that report containing the figure to NWA to compensate for the lands.

He claims that he has subsequently made efforts to get compensation, but they have proven futile.

Chong also wants compensation for damages for breach of his constitutional rights, all legal costs, and such further and/or other relief that the court may deem appropriate.