Debris from a fire that razed squatter huts in Kau Wah Keng Old Village last week remained uncleared yesterday as government officials visited the scene and debated who was responsible for the clean-up. The development came after squatters were told they would not be allowed to rebuild their dwellings. This meant the 47 families - a total of 130 people - left homeless after Friday's fire would need to move to interim housing as the department had found that none of them were eligible for public housing. About 30 squatter control and clearance officers from the Lands Department inspected the burned-out sheds in the village in Lai Chi Kok at about 10am. Indigenous villagers' representative Tsang Chun-fai said he was told by a squatter-control officer that the department might not clear the debris because the squats were on private land. The department would discuss the issue of land ownership before deciding whether or not to clear the debris, Tsang was told. This raised the question as to who was responsible for clearing up the mess, as many of the squats were built without the consent of indigenous villagers who owned the land. 'I'm not very happy with their explanation. It's a pretext,' Tsang said. He called on the department to immediately remove the debris. Tsang said the number of squatters in the village had increased three-fold in the past decade. Meanwhile, some victims who had returned to the village railed at the government, saying it had failed to keep them informed and had offered little assistance. Arrangements were made for displaced squatters to live in temporary shelter in Shek Lei, but some victims returned to the village after they found the accommodation small and lacking in amenities. Gan Zhenxing, who had been living in the squat since he arrived from the mainland two years ago, returned to the village on Sunday and made a makeshift home. He wanted the government to arrange public housing or allow him to rebuild his home. 'It's not a time to talk about eligibility [for public housing]. What the government should do is settle us down quickly,' he said, adding that he would not accept interim housing because the conditions were worse than in his squatter hut. A Lands Department spokesman had said it was illegal to rebuild squats because such houses built after 1984 were not legally recognised. He said most of the squatter huts in the village were unauthorised and the occupants would have to move to interim housing flats.