By ROSLYN ALBANIEL-EVARA, Post Courier
MADANG’S Director Lands and Physical Planning Francis Irara says the development taking place adjacent to the Kalibobo Lighthouse is illegal.
Authorities from the Madang Urban Local Level Government have also stated likewise and have since issued a stop work notice to the person concerned.
Last week residents were taken aback to see a two-metre picket fence being erected on Section 8, Allotment 14, which is the block of land between the famous Coastwatchers Memorial Lighthouse otherwise known as the Kalibobo Lighthouse and the Governor’s official resident.
The development had caused quite a stir among residents who had demanded to know who was responsible and who had given the person the nod to do so.
Local reporters found out that the person concerned was John Simi a small businessman from the East Sepik province who had claimed the portion of land not to be reserved and that he had obtained it “fair and square”.
Mr Irara when approached to comment on this development also verified that the land not to be reserved but a residential area.
He stated that Mr Simi had gotten the approval for this property from the office of the Secretary of Alienated Land.
He said given its current status anybody could apply for ownership and if provincial authorities wished for it to be made restricted then it would have to apply to have it zoned as such.
“…because this has not happened anyone can own it,” he said.
However, Mr Irara stated the development to be illegal and questioned the permit for development 025/12 that Mr Simi had in his procession to allow him to progress this development.
He said for any development to take place there were processes and documents which had to be produced before this could happen.
Tantamount was the nod from the Lands and Physical Board which had not met yet to approve this development.
He said for Mr Simi to be able to go ahead with this development he would have to produce a copy of the land title to verify him as the legal owner of the property, Physical Planning approval and Building permit.
The latter two he questioned as the board had yet to meet.
Meanwhile officials from MULLG yesterday also confirmed that a notice of stop work had been issued to Mr Simi and will remain until all processes have been complied with.
Meanwhile, Mr Irara also made known yesterday that Madang did not have a Provincial Land Policy.
He said the only policy in place was the National Land Policy.
He said because of this authorities continued to be caught unaware of developments such as the one now being questioned at Kalibobo.