The worst department with the public service without a doubt is the Lands Department.
I am in total disbelief to see how inconsiderate and ineffective is the Department of Lands and all they keep saying is that they have no staff even when there is the worst conflict over certain zones especially among the informal settlers better known as squatters.
It is well over four years now since the government had approved a portion of land for me in the south of the island after a submission was made to the Cabinet after fulfilling all of government’s requirements.
I had an approval for a portion of land totalling 6,500 sq. ft of lands to erect my tourism office as a tour person under the Crown Ordinance act.
I am a person who provides tourists and visitors alike with crucial information pertaining to our tourism product more so on the island’s history, geology, sites and attraction, plants, botanical plants, languages.
I am a person who was able to attract some of Grenada’s best reviews on social media especially Trip Advisor.
I was placed in an area where squatters surrounded me. From the moment I was shown the lot of lands there were problems.
The Lands Officer measured the lot but only placed two boundaries to the west and north west end of the lot and gave me the assurance that very soon they will erect the other two boundaries.
It’s now three years and even though I have called the Lands Department at least twice a week, they keep telling me the department is under-staffed thus leaving me in open conflict with those squatters who have no regards for the rule of law.
These people are tying goats and making an unauthorised road through the lot – it is like anarchism takes over.
The squatters are in open defiance of one’s legality of entitlement and this has led to a series of conflicts so that many police reports have had to be made.
And even though the police came on many occasions to warn them there has been no change.
It has gotten so bad that one of the squatters and myself are now in the high court.
After making over thirty phone calls and emails to the first Lands Officer, I am still facing the same problem there .
A second Lands Officer got involved after the last general election but the same trend continues.
On one occasion he said to me, “don’t worry” because they will get to me. I was promised to be attended to before the carnival but I am still waiting.
Just over the carnival weekend I had to make two police reports because of the reckless behaviour of those squatters.
One of them cut through the middle of the land in total defiance of my warning through the police and nothing is being done about it.
The police are now begging me to have the Lands department intervene but it’s all falling on deft ears.
The only person who can settle this crisis is Mr. Alleyne who is the present Lands officer. I honestly do not know when this problem will be settled.
I can understand that the department is inundated with requests equally so I believe this department has failed with respect to its responsibilities.
Although there is frequent hostilities over the lands, this department continues to sit back and pay little or no attention to rules and procedures and does not care about the gravity of the situation.
Our politicians have corrupted the service to the point of open victimisation based on which political party you support.
I am calling on the government to please look into the areas of neglect whereby citizens are taken for granted.
It is a total embarrassment that after three years the Lands department cannot erect two boundary polls that can avoid a bitter conflict.
We have to stop fooling ourselves because when the so-called foreign investors come, the department does find the staff to give prompt attention to them.
Do you see why we cannot move forward as a people? The service is infested with hate and spite and that is the legacy we are leaving for our future generation.