Sunday, August 20, 2017

Squatters reject IDs, say they own land

More than 100 squatter households in Insein township are yet to collect their identity cards despite an announcement made by the township administrators to collect them.

A section of the squatter colony in Insein township. Photo - SuppliedA section of the squatter colony in Insein township. Photo - Supplied

U Tun Lwin, Sin Ngu ward administrator in Insein township said, “From June 20 to 26, we issued ID cards to those who have been listed as illegal residents in Insein township. There are more than 100 families who have yet to come to take the cards.”

He also said that no one has officially complained about being listed as illegal residents.

“There are some people who did not come to take the ID cards because they claimed that they are not squatters as they bought the land for several million kyat. But so far, no one has come to complain about their squatter status,” he said.

He said, in Insein township, more than 4000 households are to be issued ID cards.

“We have to issue ID cards to 371 households in Sin Ngu ward and more than 4000 households who are on the list of squatters in the entire township.

“The deadline for the collection of the ID cards was June 26 and we have transferred the cards to other townships from June 27,” said U Tun Lwin.

Many of those who were given squatter ID cards in Insein claimed that they have been living on the land worth several million kyat and were granted official home addresses and power meters.

One resident from Sin Ngu ward in Insein township said, “We bought the 20 by 40 feet land for K9 million and we have been living here since 2014. We were also granted an official home address and a power meter. Now, we have been put on the list of squatters and given ID cards because the type of land is agriculture land and not considered residential land.”

U Aung Thu from Insein township, who received a squatter ID card, said he had heard that illegal residents across Yangon are being classified into three categories – homeless, people living on the government owned lands and people who deserve compensation. He said all the three categories will be provided homes.

“Any ward in Insein has been informed to move, so far, even though squatter ID cards are being issued to those on the list of squatters. Most lands in Insein are not grant land (a type of ownership) but bought for several million (kyats) under informal contracts. The entire Ywama ward didn’t come to take ID cards,” he said.

Real estate agents said that under the 2014 census, land reserved for railroads, roads, towers, Gyo Phyu water supply pipelines, are owned by the government.

Informal contracts cannot prove official ownership like grant land under the regional government’s directive.

Translation by Zar Zar Soe