– 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.