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Moonilal: Tickets for squatters soon

By Joel Julien joel.julien@trinidadexpress.com

LEGISLATION is coming to Parliament in January to allow for the issuance of tickets and fines to squatters, said Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal.

Moonilal made the statement yesterday as he spoke to members of the media following a certificate of comfort distribution ceremony at Central Diego Martin Community Centre, Diamond Vale.

The Land Settlement Agency (LSA) distributed 100 certificates of comfort to people occupying State lands in Diego Martin and surrounding areas.

"We are looking by January to have legislation in Parliament to provide for penalties for squatting," Moonilal said.

"We are exploring now a ticketing system where we actually ticket people in occupation, illegal occupation, like traffic ticketing...we are working out the details of that to see how feasible it is and the procedure for that."

Moonilal said a procedure is currently in place to "synchronise those offences in line with other offences on the law book".

"There is a scale that we need to synchronise with."

Moonilal said the LSA is attempting to fast track the backlog of certificate of comfort applications to provide people with land tenure security in areas that have been earmarked for regularisation.

Lydia Quammie, 100, is one of those who benefitted yesterday.

Quammie was waiting 12 years for the certificate of comfort.

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