Citizens of Timehri community said they are not moving to facilitate airport expansion project
On May 17th, a letter on behalf of the Cheddi Jagan International Airport Corporation was sent to every resident in Timerhi North asking them toremove from their property. At a press conference, Chairman of the Timerhi North Community Development Council, which represents 394 families in the area, said that they are not moving.
In 2000 squatters in the community began paying for utilities and were assigned house lots as apart of a regularizing the squatting area into legitimate residential area. This legal expectation created by the Government through the Ministry of Works led residents to believe that these were now their permanent homes. Legal representative for the group, Nigel Hughes, explained.
The representatives further stated that the people are willing to move once the government complies with the law and provides an acceptable replacement and relocation plan. They also wanted to remind the government that a similar situation happened at Ogle that did not result in an expansion.
The call for removal comes a year after the crash of the Caribbean Airlines Flight 523. The airport authorities used the crash to claim that residents of Timerhi North are in danger. At the press conference TNCDC reps stated that the nearest home is 300 meters away from the airport perimeter but the nearest property where human lives are more at risk is the prison.