Three areas to be exempt

Residents in Kut fear evictions aiming campaign to eliminate illegal housing

WASIT, August 21 — Wasit Governor Mohammed Al-Mayahi reassured residents living in three specific areas of Kut district on Sunday that they would not face eviction as authorities aim to end unauthorized settlements on agricultural lands.

The governor issued a statement announcing an upcoming campaign to eliminate illegal housing on agricultural lands in Kut. This caused concerns among locals in Al-Hakim, Al-Kut Al-Jadeeda, and Al-Naft Street areas. These areas are part of sprawling informal settlements surrounding the city center. Residents feared their homes would be demolished, however, the governor clarified his statement to 964.

“The Al-Hakim, Al-Kut Al-Jadeeda, and Al-Naft Street areas are not subject to removal. Instead, they will undergo regularization and organization according to Decision 320,” Al-Mayahi said. “The campaign we are about to launch will target new violations in areas like Um Hilel, Al-Dahra, and those adjacent to the Technical Institute. These will be removed, and the violators will be referred to the judiciary.”

“We will not permit the construction of even one single new meter in agricultural areas. All obstructions impeding projects will be removed. This isn’t targeting the poor; it’s a response to those who took advantage and divided agricultural lands in Kut,” he added.

Ali Akram, resident of Al-Kut Al-Jadeeda, told 964: “Since last year, we’ve been awaiting the implementation of Decision 320, which pertains to granting land ownership to its occupants. It’s unfortunate that progress has stalled due to landowners not ceding their properties to the municipality.”