Papua New Guinea
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City authority sets sights on crime and settlements

BY MARIE SONNY

The Lae City Authority has set its sights on two ways to address the twin problems of settlements and crime in and around Lae, authority chairman and Lae MP John Rosso said.

“One is to identify settlements that cause a lot of problems through the police statistics that cause issues, and they will be responsible for their own behaviour,” Mr Rosso said in response to questions from the Post-Courier over the issues of crime and settlements in the city.

“And those that contribute a lot to crime and lawlessness will be dealt with through the rule of law and that might involve evictions.

“The second avenue is to identify workers and build proper suburbs to house the people. Illegal mushrooming settlements will not be condoned.

“In the old existing settlements, we will be looking at identifying workers, people who are residing there and are working.

“But it is now up to myself to find and build proper subdivision so that we can house our people properly.

“People without housing, and especially those that can’t afford proper rentals in town, we are looking at now developing a brand new suburb opposite Tent City and one close to Bumayong.”

He said work has already started with the Lutheran Church at Malahang and they will be developing a commercial area in front and a residential area at the back for homes for middle income earners.

“For lower income earners, the Lae City Authority is looking at partnering with the Lands Department and we are currently work in progress on getting the plan sorted out so that we can be able to put another 5-10,000 subdivided allotments available for people who are working in the city.”

Mr Rosso said settlements that are in the city and cause problems will be dealt with.

“Just advising everyone that when you are living in a settlement you have to follow the rule of law, you cannot just live in there and decide that there is no law here.

“There is a rule of law in Lae and the police will enforce them,” he said.

Recently, Lae metropolitan superintendent Chris Kunyanban, also speaking about the settlements and crime issues, said police are able to deal with crimes in settlements within the city limits, but those in new settlements on the fringes of the city are the ones posing a lot of challenges to his men.

Mr Rosso said Lae, being the second largest city in the country, is also the second to Port Moresby in terms of number of settlements popping up everywhere around the city.