– to re-embark on mapping exercise after stolen computer delays projectThe Guyana Lands and Survey’s Commission (GL&SC) processes thousands of lease applicants each year and as the demand for land grows, it is considering opening up some 6000 acres of state land in Region Four for various purposes.An example of the imagery generated by LIDAR technologyThis was explained by Chief Executive Officer of GL&SC, Trevor Benn, during their end of year press conference at the Commission on Monday. He explained that as of now, this land is undeveloped, without basic infrastructure. The whole process, he noted, will cost millions.“What we have been doing over the years is land given to you, we take it back if you don’t properly occupy it and we give it to someone else. So it’s an exchange since the 1980s, because we have not opened up new areas. So we have been trying since then, to open up land.”GL&SC CEO Trevor Benn“There’s no infrastructure in the area, but we have designed a plan, consisting of infrastructure that will see us removing issues of space and ensuring that we have a more structured land use in place. We’re going to have commercial, light industrial, residential.”To illustrate the demand for land, Benn explained that for the year, the Commission has processed 3537 applications and approved 849. He further explained that a total of 489 leases were prepared by GL&SC; a process Benn said is currently being digitised.“We have started with the designs. We’re working with various Government agencies to get their buy-in and input into what a modern 21st-century community should look like. And what we’re hearing and seeing from them is we want to have a community that we don’t have to go back to in 10 years to build new roads.”“To build hospital spaces. You know, when the Soesdykye-Linden Highway was developed all those years ago and most of the land development schemes, you could have known before you entered the community, where a police station as going to be built. Where a playfield would have been built. Where the school would be built. How many house lots would be there.”The CEO also noted the importance of them establishing adequate sized lots, big enough to allow persons to plant kitchen gardens if they so desire. In addition, there should be ‘green’ spaces to have mini-parks that persons in the communities could use.Also, Benn noted that they are working on putting all Land and Survey services online, so persons won’t have to visit the office for basic services. He said that another initiative being pursued is a National Base mapping process, to remap the country using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology. The whole project will cost some $3.7 billion.There has been a hitch with that plan, however. According to Benn, a laptop that belonged to the North West Geomatics Limited, the Canadian-based company undertaking the remapping, was “illegally removed” from an aircraft at one of the airports.“That work is about to start, the consultant and team is on the ground. There are two aircrafts on the ground at the Ogle airport. Unfortunately, when they arrived here three Fridays ago we had a very ugly incident, where their laptop was removed from the aircraft without their consent, at one of our airports.”“And that delayed the work and now that they have been able to replace the laptop, the rain is upon us. So it’s further delayed… we are going to be doing Region One and part of Region Four first.”Asked where the house lots will be, Benn could not say. He cited the need for mapping to be done and also the threat of squatters taking up illegal residence. According to Benn, squatters in the new areas being opened up is the last thing the GL&SC needs.
This weekend sees the 20th anniversary reunion of the First Irish Ascent of Everest (and the first British ascent via the North Ridge), taking place at Gartan Outdoor Education Centre.Dason StelfoxTwenty years ago, on Thursday 27th May 1993, Dawson Stelfox, expedition leader, climbing with the unflagging support of the full expedition team and base camp staff, and family and friends at home, arrived at the summit during a brief window of good weather.All expedition members, except Richard O’Neill-Dean, now living in New Zealand, will be at Gartan, along with base camp managers, expedition doctors, support trekkers, families and friends. Robbie Fenlon, climbing team member who was a mountaineering instructor at Gartan at the time of the expedition, will be returning for the event.Also attending is Lorna Siggins, Irish Times reporter who, without the benefit of internet and mobile communication, reported regularly to an anxious audience at home.Lorna’s book on the expedition, Everest Calling – Ascent of the Dark Side: The Mallory-Irvine Ridge, has recently been updated by both Lorna and expedition climber Dermot Somers. Everest Calling – The Irish Journey recalls this ground breaking success, and chronicles the many Irish achievements since.The expedition members, and Gartan Director and President of Mountaineering Ireland, Ursula MacPherson, also extend their congratulations to Letterkenny man Jason Black on his achievement in successfully reaching the summit of Everest, via the North Ridge, earlier this week. Ursula also took the opportunity to pay tribute to Namgyal Sherpa, who she climbed with on Shishapangma, an 8,000 metre peak in Tibet. Namgyal died last week on the summit ridge of Everest, while descending from his 10th summit.A champion of protecting the Himalayan environment, a first class climber and guide for many seeking to achieve their dreams on Everest, Namgyal was a highly respected member of the Sherpa and climbing community.His death again emphasizes the commitment and risks that Sherpas make in supporting climbers of all nationalities, without which most modern day ascents would not be possible. Rest in Peace Namgyal. MOUNTAIN TEAM WHO CONQUERED EVEREST CELEBRATE 20TH ANNIVERSARY AT GARTAN was last modified: May 24th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)