KUKUM and Bahaii lands have come under the microscope following questions raised by Leader of the Parliamentary Independent Group, Manasseh Maelanga, over the state of land leases there.
Mr Maelanga asked the Minister of Lands, Housing and Survey Andrew Manepora, to state the plans, progress and current status of lands leases in Honiara, particularly at Bahaii and Kukum areas.
Mr Manepora, in response, has revealed that there are 276 land leases in Bahaii and Kukum areas.
He revealed that of these leases, each one varies in terms of lease term- the lease terms vary from 33 years to 99 years.
The Lands Minister further told parliament that the land leases were for different purposes. These include commercial, residential, clinics, schools and other undertakings.
Mr Manepora stated that out of the 276 land leases government collected about $110,000 per year as various rates from the lessees.
Mr Manepora further revealed that initially Kukum and Bahaii are allocated for residential purpose only but until recently the Town and Country Planning Board have change the places to accommodate commercial, schools, clinics and recreational undertakings.
Later during the supplementary questions, Mr Manepora told parliament that few indigenous people have also taken some plots of the Kukum and Bahaii lands and resold them to foreigners.
The Lands Minister also pointed out that currently government does not have a development plan for the Kukum and Bahaii lands.
But he stated that government is currently working on a Local Planning Scheme (LPS) to properly zone areas there.
Mr Manepora also added that his ministry is devising a proper Land Auditing Programme that will ensure lessees are paying proper rates in correspondence to whatever undertakings they have made on their (leased) lands.
In wrapping up the question regarding the Kukum and Bahaii lands, the Parliamentary Independent leader, Mr Maelanga, urged the government to ensure ministry officials are carrying out the plans of the government of the day with due diligence and professionalism.