Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud yesterday Sunday July 1, addressed issues pertaining to squatting and conflicting land use when he met with residents of Kuru Kururu, Soesdyke Linden Highway at the community Primary school.
Accompanying the Minister was Permanent Secretary Joslyn McKenzie and officials from the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission [GLSC] and the Guyana Forestry Commission.
During the meeting, the Minister counseled against such practice and encouraged residents to map out a strategy for the orderly development of the community. He reminded them that development and opportunities will not be possible if they continue to misuse use the land.
During his address to the residents, Minister Persaud also addressed the issue of illegal land ownership, as the residents complained that GLSC officials are giving out lands that are not there’s to.
Minister Persaud was very adamant that Government will not and does not condone such illegalities and that land ownership must follow a specific process.
He said that the President is the only authority and the only office in the country that can grants lands.
“We are just representatives…..the policy is that we must ensure that there is equitable distribution of lands in any part of the country…those who need lands must be able to access lands not those who got land must be able to get more lands,” he said.
He clarified that there was nothing wrong with accessing more one land, but the priority is ‘land for the landless’ and this must be done in a ‘ fair and transparent manner’ with the processes outlined and the law followed.
“……Even if someone is entitled, it is not a passport for you to go and break the law”, Minister Persaud explained.
Over the years there have been complaints with regards to officials of GLSC who had facilitated, encouraged and engaged in illegal activities, Minister Persaud said. He told residents that these staff was since dismissed and others under investigation.
The Minister told residents that if it has been found that such illegal practices are re-occurring, “we are going to weed out and stomp out those officers within the commission who are in one way or the other are contributing to this problem.”
He also promised that the Ministry will be conducting educational programmes that will be spread across the various communities in the different regions with the aim of educating persons on how they can access land.
He said that training programmes will also be done for staff of the relevant agencies for them to develop a customer friendly approach to treating those applying for land. [GINA]