Hon. Andrew Manepora'a, Minister for Lands, Housing and Survey and MP for East Are'are. Photo credit: GCU.

Hon. Andrew Manepora’a, Minister for Lands, Housing and Survey and MP for East Are’are. Photo credit: GCU.

The Government has announced plans to acquire additional land to further expand town boundaries in Honiara and in provincial urban centres.

Lands, Housing and Survey Minister Andrew Manepora’a told Parliament yesterday, the Ministry will embark on urban expansion project this year.

“Under my development budget is the Urban Expansion project, under which, sir we are looking at acquiring additional land to the town boundaries. We need to extend our town boundary not only in Honiara but also our provincial centers like Auki, Gizo and maybe Buala and whoever have the opportunity to expand their town boundary, we plan to acquire additional land.”

Meanwhile, Minister Manepora said acquiring additional land is necessary for relocation purposes and government housing needs.

“We want to acquire additional land because we need to relocate some of our major projects. For example, we need to relocate our National Hospital so we need to acquire some land. We also need to build houses for the public servants, at the moment some of them are residing on the Temporary Occupational Lands (TOL), which is a problem. We must acquire additional land so that we can build them proper accommodation.”

Meanwhile, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Survey has announced that Temporary Occupational Lands (TOL) will be upgraded.

“Sir TOL is the major problem in the country, people are not residing according, bringing complaints. Many of them have applied to the Ministry for titles to these lands. They never take those titles for so many years, maybe five to ten years of applying. This year under my ministry I would like to say to the people that the ministry is coming out to the people instead of them going to the ministry and we’ve held consultations in the previous weeks with the affected communities like Cana Hill, Aekafo, Matariu, Fulisango and up to the Borderline area.”

Andrew Manepora’a told Parliament under the upgrade, TOLs will be subdivided and the Ministry will help people get titles to the land.

“What the Ministry is planning to do is we will be going out to subdivide the TOLs and give proper titles to the people. There are two benefits by doing so, one of which is, a person having a proper land title will be eligible for loans from the banks to build him and his family a proper home. The second benefit is that the person will be able to pay a proper rental to the government so as to increase government revenue. It’s a win-win situation Sir.”

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