Is Government giving out 1,000 plots of land, taken from the allocation due to 4,000 Caroni (1975) Ltd ex-workers, to new applicants? This is the question being asked by National Solidarity Assembly (NSA) head Nirvan Maharaj.
The ex-workers have been waiting for 14 years to get their land as part of a VSEP package offered in 2003, said Maharaj who is also head of the All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union.
Maharaj said the lands, “are not a gift or handout”, but a legal entitlement from the Industrial Court Consent Order of 2003 and the Justice Deyalsingh judgement of 2003.
He challenged Housing Minister Randall Mitchell to say if these lots were taken from sites already identified for ex-Caroni workers at Mc Bean, Picton, Beaucal, Factory Road and Orangefield.
Mitchell yesterday denied this in a statement, saying, “These lands are not earmarked for former Caroni workers.”
He said lands under the Government’s Aided Self Help-Housing Programme are not the lots being developed for ex-workers under the Caroni (1975) Ltd and Orange Grove National Company Ltd (Divestment) Act 25 of 2005.
Mitchell said the programme empowers citizens to build their own homes with financial and technical support from the State. “One thousand affordable, fully developed lots will be available for distribution for the first cycle of this programme.”