Urban Squatters Face Eviction

Houses in and around the capital Bishkek that were put up by migrants from other parts of the country may soon be demolished.

Urban Squatters Face Eviction

Houses in and around the capital Bishkek that were put up by migrants from other parts of the country may soon be demolished.

Tuesday, 31 March, 2009
A commission from the mayor’s office is currently looking at the buildings put up over the years by people who came from other parts of Kyrgyzstan in search of work.



Any that are deemed to have been built illegally will be torn down.



There are close to 50 squatter settlements in and around the city where the buildings either have partial documentation or none at all.



Reporter Eleonora Mambetshakirova visited one of these settlements, built by people who moved into an area near the giant Dordoy market outside Bishkek after the March 2005 revolution in which the then president Askar Akaev was ousted and the present administration came to power. Of the 140 or so households living along one street of housing here, none possesses documents in compliance with building regulations.



“We don’t have documents; we don’t have anything,” said one resident who moved here in 2006. “We’ve been to the mayor’s office many times. We’ve been everywhere. What have we to be afraid of? That they’ll tear our houses down? We’ll see about that. We’re doing all we can to see that they don’t touch our homes.”



Some long-standing residents of the area are resentful of the incomers, who they say grabbed land that belonged to the community – and they want it back.



Kyrgyzstan
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