Port Moresby’s suburban jumble that is Taurama Valley has been condemned as a failure and a disaster by city Governor Powes Parkop.
He said the valley, a large tract of customary land that stretches from the fringes of East Boroko to Taurama Barracks and further into Taurama Beach, which had been sold off cheaply by landowners, had seen an unprecedented boom in unplanned construction of suburban homes and businesses, and now home to tens of thousands of city residents.
It is an urban development model gone wrong where the State was to have partnered with landowners and developers to establish a fully-fledged suburb, planned and provided with all service amenities, he said.
Such unplanned urban development which, Mr Parkop said, did not comply with NCDC urban development plans and physical planning standards and regulations were devoid of proper sub-division and difficult to service in terms of providing road networks and electricity, water and sewerage services.
Such developments would not be allowed to take place anywhere in the city in future, Mr Parkop said.
He said this when addressing landowner leaders and settlers in his first major move to help local Motu-Koitabu customary landowners organise and better plan the use of their land and to prevent sell-offs and land-grabbing.
The meeting, held at Bautama last Thursday, was also attended by Kairuku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo, Motu-Koitabu Assembly chairman Dadi Toka Jr who is also deputy NCD Governor, Acting city manager Ravu Frank and representatives from the Lands and Physical Planning Department and Eda Ranu.
Landowners were told in no uncertain terms not to sell their land cheaply as in the case of Taurama Valley but to work with NCDC, the Motu-Koitabu Assembly and all relevant State agencies to convert their land into an economic base for them and their future generations.
In his condemnation Mr Parkop said: “Taurama Valley has become a failure, it’s a planning disaster, it’s a disaster for Port Moresby, it’s a disaster for PNG.
“It’s a case of land gone, money gone,” he said of how land had been sold off cheaply by landowners who would have already used up the money and left landless and penniless.
“We’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Mr Parkop said he had also given instructions for people who give away land cheaply and without the approval of their respective Incorporated Land Group (ILG) to be prosecuted.
Mr Parkop, Mr Isoaimo and Mr Toka all stressed the importance for landowners to register their respective ILGs through which they can conduct business instead of family members doing their own bit by selling off land to different settlers.
Mr Parkop announced that a temporary consultation office would be set up at Bautama for landowners and settlers to seek advice and help.