By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
The Bahamas Association of Land Surveyors (BALS) yesterday said it is awaiting the imminent arrival of a new surveyor-general as the government unveiled plans to upgrade the Department of Lands and Surveys.
Pakeisha Parker-Edgecombe, parliamentary secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, told the House of Assembly during her contribution to the 2020-2021 budget debate that the department’s new electronic platform will improve efficiency and turnaround time in dealing with applications.
“Lands and Surveys will undergo a significant restructuring exercise as we aim to better equip the entity with a digitised platform that will not only ensure a smoother operation, but enable those seeking a piece they are entitled to as Bahamians to find comfort in their applications and that they are treated with fairness and transparency,” she said.
“Lands and Surveys can now boast of having the latest in surveying equipment, having utilised some $500,000 towards that purchase. The acquisition of new equipment utilises what is known as cadastral surveys. Cadastral surveys are those where drones are used to provide aerial photography.
“This is important due to the rapid development of New Providence, and can also be used for the developmental planning of the Family Islands, roads, subdivisions and healthcare facilities as well. Additionally, Lands and Surveys will also be able to carry out hydrographic surveys, which will aid in the monitoring of the channels of major seaports in particular.”
Ms Parker-Edgecombe said these developments are a “greater leap forward” for expanding Bahamian land ownership.
Meanwhile, Emile Ledee, The Bahamas Association of Land Surveyors president, told Tribune Business: “The BALS has received verbal confirmation that a new surveyor-general is to arrive in short order. We are hoping the financial investment will help to expedite matters at the Department of Lands & Surveys.”