Releasing land deeds to its owners has been delayed for over 50 years, it was revealed during a Ministerial Consultative Committee on Tourism and Lands held recently.
This matter was raised and discussed at the Ministerial Consultative Committee held on August 09 in Parliament under the Chairmanship of Tourism and Lands Minister Harin Fernando.
The Committee questioned the Land Reform Commission Chairman as to why there is such a prolonged delay.
In response, the officials of the Land Reform Commission said that these lands have been disposed of to various parties and the third or fourth generations now occupy them.
Accordingly, the officials stated that there is an issue in awarding documents. They said that they are now in the process of sorting out this matter.
However, Committee Chair Minister Fernando said that a speedier process needs to be implemented. Accordingly, the minister suggested that a schedule be initiated from Kandy District as a pilot project and to gradually move to other districts to clear out the deeds.
The minister further stated that the Land Reform Commission should be more proactive and look into the concerns of the people.
Moreover, the Committee took into discussion the request made regarding the provision of new annual licenses for stone quarrying to around 7,000 people in Balangoda Damahana area who are traditionally engaged in the quarrying industry.
Furthermore, the Chair of the Committee also took into discussion the progress of all Committees which were conducted with the participation of MPs in each tourism area in order to identify and promote new tourist locations and the progress regarding the development of the Deniyaya Eco Tourism Zone.
Committee Members State Minister Geetha Kumarasinghe, MPs Kapila Athukorala, Amirthanathan Adaikkalanathan and many other MPs representing both the Opposition and the Government were present at the meeting.