Land Commissioner General reveals: Only 86,000 ha Remain for Consumption
By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
Only 86,000 hectares of land remains for allocation for the next 200 to 300 years and people who do not own land in urban areas will soon face a land crisis but there was nothing that can be done about it, Land Commissioner General, Keerthi Gamage, in an exclusive interview with Ceylon Today, said.
In village areas there are lands, but there are no lands at all in major cities like Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara and Galle. “No one can buy or request for land. There are no State lands at all in the Gampaha District and in the Colombo District only a very small extent of land remains. They are only valuable economically and are not for settlement,” he noted.
He also said there are no lands for which even permits can be issued. “It is apartments that will have to be built by the Government, which is a huge investment,” he said and opined the Government cannot do it and such projects will have to be carried out by private companies.
“For those who do not have lands it is a huge crisis. Lands are a limited resource. We are using lands in an adverse manner at present. Both usage and segregation is not done using a proper method. The Government should make a policy-wise decision immediately on how to use and allocate these lands. Certain restrictions should be imposed and there is a strong need for that now, which I see as the Land Commissioner General,” Gamage added.
Adding that people are using the maximum possible extents of land now, he said what remained was to manage these lands. “If one acre has been given to someone, it should be divided and given to three or four more persons, which is what we will have to do.”
Speaking further, Gamage said it is important to use lands in an effective and productive manner using modern technology. In countries such as China, they build houses vertically. But that is not happening here, he noted.