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Residents from Hampshire, Anchorville Block 5, Tain Block 4, Bangladesh, Bond Yard, High Reef, Sand Reef, Clifton/John, Guava Bush, Free Yard and Port Mourant were recipients of titles.
The people were also delighted and took advantage of the announcement that the Ministry of Housing was facilitating payment of the $6000 fee for the land title at the same school.
Region Six already has 12 Housing Schemes from Glasgow to Number 77 on the Corentyne while some 24 squatting areas are to be regularized. Three new schemes have been opened recently in that Region, at Glasgow, Number 77 and Upper Corentyne.
According to the Regional Chairman, Region Six, Kumkarran Ramdas, as soon as settlements are regularized, titles will be made available.
To date 7,000 house lots have already been distributed in that Region. The Ministry labels it as the ‘one stop shop’ where residents complete their documentation and receive their titles. Titles are distributed in three categories: squatter settlements, housing settlements and old settlements.
It is reported that residents in these areas, referred to, as old settlements have not received titles to their land since plantation days.
Some residents said they have received titles after 60 years, while others confirmed that their families who have been living on the lands for 90 years have not received any.
Minister of Housing and Water Shaik Baksh, said the Ministry is working assiduously to eliminate the backlog. Over the past two months Minister Baksh has been visiting the Region in an effort to ensure that titles were distributed in the shortest possible time.
Baksh said “It’s the first time in any Region so many titles were distributed in one day.” He added that the Ministry will be working tirelessly over the next two to three years to eliminate the backlog of titles for distribution.
“I will not rest as Minister and the Government will not be satisfied until titles are given out,” Minister Baksh said.
He further stated that he knew that families needed to have their land titles to pass on to future generations. He encouraged residents to use their titles to access loans through the New Building Society (NBS) and other banking institutions to build their homes.
The Minister cautioned residents, however, that he needed to see houses going up in the various areas.
Those who have now received their titles after many years have done so at practically no cost, just conveyancing fees.
The Minister also disclosed that between June 1 and September 20, conveyancing fees will be reduced from $1200 to $800 to allow for faster documentation and processing of titles.
The Ministry of Housing and Water will also be taking steps to supply water, and ensure that there is proper drainage and roads in those areas. Baksh congratulated persons receiving their titles and asked them to make good use of them.
Among the first to receive their titles were Kamaludin Hussein and Chandrakumarie Deelall, a family of five, Umandai Sanas of Albion, Suerajie Budhi of Kilcoy, Surwantie Punwasi of Guava Bush and Sumintra Sookree of Anchorville.
Budhi said since 1974 her family had their land but no title. Sookree on the other hand said she has had her land for over 35 years without title.
One resident enthusiastically thanked the Minister because it was the first time in Berbice that residents have received transports to their land.
For 2003, the Government plans to distribute between 8,000 to 10,000 house lots countrywide.
Last month, Minister Baksh and a team opened the Parfait/Harmonie Housing Scheme on the West Bank Demerara where over 5000 homes will be constructed. The Ministry has begun a phased development plan where Housing Schemes will be developed one section at a time.
This year the Ministry plans to regularize a number of housing and squatting areas. Hundreds of Housing Schemes have been developed over the past ten years. (Government Information Agency GINA)