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Mayor, King's Wharf residents meet to discuss relocation

...unoccupied shacks to be demolished

By SUE-ANN WAYOW sue-ann.wayow@trinidadexpress.com

KING'S Wharf, San Fernando residents who protested after being served eviction notices last week, held a tense meeting with Mayor Navi Muradali yesterday.

The residents assembled outside City Hall early yesterday, but Muradali requested that an official meeting be held at 1.30 p.m.
Last Friday, notices from the San Fernando City Corporation were placed on some 100 shacks by police officers.

The notices stated that the shacks were constructed without the
City Council's approval on State lands, and by today, a written
statement must be given to the council " to show cause why such
building or such works should not be removed, altered or pulled down."

Failure to do so will result in the demolition of the structure and the owner and builder will have to repay the Corporation. Minutes after the notices were put up, they were pulled down by angry residents who shouted they were not moving unless they were given proper homes.

They demanded a meeting with the mayor to have further discussions.

Muradali said yesterday "The notice did not mean that we were demolishing any structure but that they (residents) would have an opportunity to respond to the notice. Many of them had already responded to the notice by writing the city engineer's department, and we will follow a process by reviewing all of the responses and a decision will then be made by council as to a course of action. "

He said within two weeks, a " course of action" will be taken by the city council based on the report of the engineers' department.

Muradali said he will be writing to the Land Settlement Agency (LSA) and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) asking for advice and assistance for residents who wished to be relocated .

Muradali said, "We are happy that the residents in this meeting did agree to work with us to ensure that the unoccupied shacks will in fact be demolished. "

Residents agreed with Muradali's proposal, and councillor Darren McLeod will liaise with the residents, the Express was told.
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