The Survey Department of Sri Lanka (SDSL) had completed surveying 1,470,688 lots of land consisting of a total area of 3,555 square kilometres under the 'Bim Saviya' programme but titles have been issued only for half of that amount, SDSL Senior Deputy Surveyor-General K.D. Parakum Shantha said.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror he said the Bim Saviya survey programme was carried out in all lands in the country which belonged to the Government and private owners according to a new surveying system called Cadastral system.
"Surveying has been completed in 18.24 per cent in North Central Province, 17.67 per cent in Central Province, 8.73 per cent in Uva Province, 12.87 per cent, 10.13 per cent in Sabaragamuwa Province, 9.93 per cent in Southern Province, 7.29 per cent in North-Western Province, 13.62 per cent in Eastern Province and 57.53 per cent in Western Province lands" Mr Shantha said.
The estimated blocks of land to be surveyed is said to be 1.4million but about 700,000 titles were issued to landowners.
The Bim Saviya programme was implemented in collaboration with three government institutions including the Department of Land Settlement, Registrar General’s Department, and the Survey Department, Mr Shantha said.
"Plans of the land blocks would be registered in the land registry with the owners' name. Each block will get an identification number of twelve digits and the owner would be able to view his ownership through the computer using the number," he said.
The Bim Saviya programme was initiated from Gampaha, Colombo, and Balangoda under the land law Act 21 of 1998.
"All original deeds will be taken and replaced with a one-page Certificate of Title with the owner's name and plan depicted on it. Originals will be of no value but I would strongly recommend the owners to retain the original deeds, extracts and the certified copies of their deeds," he said.
There are about 800 government surveyors, 6,000 staff and licensed surveyors available as resources for the Department to cover up the land surveys all around the country, but that force is not enough to do the job, Mr Shantha said.
"With relating to survey and mapping issues, Kandy, Colombo, Ratnapura and Gampaha districts came up with issues relating to 500 in each," he said.
However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has advised the Land Reforms Ministry officials to expedite the surveying of all land units without further delay.
During a discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat on Monday, President Rajapaksa stated that the government has identified a total of 14mn land units and during the last 20 years, only 10% of it had been surveyed.
The President added that he would facilitate the process and instructed the remaining 90% of the land units to be surveyed immediately without prolonging the matter. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)