Categorized | National News

AG: Crown Land Should Not Be Wasted

Attorney General Carl Bethel  says Crown  Land in the Bahamas should not be wasted or abused.  He wasresponding to the League of Haitian Pastors President Jean Paul Charles following  the suggestion that shantytown residents be given first preference on such land once it is cleared.

Mr. Bethel made it clear that some of the land is not government owned, adding that he is not sure what right the government would have to force private citizens to sell their land to these residents.

He said, “a significant amount of these shanty towns are, according to my information, on former agricultural land that was granted to others on leaseterms for them to farm and the persons that they engaged ended up living on the land.”

He added, “ there are elements of crown land there, but the policy of the government is not to sell crown land to non-Bahamians. That’s the first problem. That’s our policy.”

“We may consider leasing it if there is some viable national development issue, but we’re not selling crown land or giving crown land to non- Bahamians.”, he said.

The Attorney General said that he welcomes those with legal rights to push the issue in court, but counters that crown land should be used to benefit the country.

He reiterated, “this is agricultural land. It was land that was released for farming to Bahamians for them to farm. That’s a social benefit that accrues to the nation; the more people that are engaged in agriculture and producing food for us to consume rather than importing everything.”

“Those purposes have been frustrated, and the government is grappling with the issue. We’ll grapple with it fairly, but crown land ought not to be wasted.”

Mr. Bethel said that he respects the views of the Haitian pastors, but the government will not be able to say if it will follow their recommendation.

However, it will continue to keep the line of communication open as it seeks to find a solution to this vexing problem.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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