Internet Radio

Timehri airport “squatters” reject Yarrowkabra house-lots

FLASH BACK: Timehri residents meeting to discuss government’s plan to remove them from lands near the CJIA.

Residents of Timehri North would not be removing from airport lands, despite the availability of 350 house-lots at Yarrowkabra so that they can remove to make way for the expansion of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).

“No one has said anything to us and we have not been privy to any of the decisions or the processes and we are not prepared to move,” Chairman of the Timehri North Citizens Development Committee (TNCDC), Daniel Fraser told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).

Transport Minister, Robeson Benn ruled out government constructing new houses for persons to be relocated from Timehri North.

“We are not building any houses as far as I am aware. Our position is that we are making land available for housing to be established by those persons,” he said.

He said aerial surveys were conducted and drawings and pictures of the intended housing settlement show that provision has been made for a school, health centre, playground and other social amenities.

The residents are to be relocated in keeping with three schedules. Provision, he said, is also being made to relocate persons on the coast or other settlements. Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and Guyana Prison Service installations nearby will also have to remove from the airport lands, Benn said.

Benn said the Airport Relocation Plan has been crafted by a committee that includes the Ministries of Transport, Local Government, Housing and Water, Regional Democratic Council, Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, CJIA and Lands and Surveys.

The TNCDC Chairman said neither his organisation nor the community has been consulted and residents would not be going to Yarrowkabra which he described as swamplands.

“We have never been told but my assumption is that they are going to put you way behind Yarrowkabra way behind an existing community and Yarrowkabra from since 1972 to now doesn’t even have a paved road,” he said. He also lamented the absence of water and electricity supplies in that area.

At least 2,400 persons live in approximately 400 houses that they have built during the past 50 years, residents said.

The TNCDC Chairman further expressed concern that government would not be compensating residents for the demolition of their homes that in many cases are worth millions of dollars.