Wednesday, 14 August 2013 00:01
The surveyors’ day was celebrated on August 2 with State patronage and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa as the Chief Guest and Construction and Engineering Services Minister Wimal Weerawansa as Guest of Honour.
The first government department to be set up in Sri Lanka by the British colonial office was the Surveyor General’s Department in 1800. Prior to that Sri Lankan kings commissioned surveyors to maintain astonishing gradients of very long agricultural canals, locate sluice gates that coincided with modern findings and set out aesthetic geometrical structures such as the Ruvanweli Maha Dagoba.
The contribution of land and hydrographic surveyors who are the explorers and pioneers in any development project is legendary. Their job is to legally fix or shift boundaries and ascertain elevations employing methods and standards stipulated by the surveyor general. Surveyors are the most practical and pragmatic social workers. They help the people to define their locations.
In early nineteen eighties, computer technology was introduced for the first time during the accelerated Mahaweli development program of which the Victoria hydro electric project was the kingpin. Also for the first time electronic distance, measuring instruments were used to set out the double curvature arch dam.
The first satellite in outer space, man in outer space and man on the moon and soon man on Mars were preceded by launching surveyor missions. Satellites now guide the practicing land surveyor measuring even a small parcel of land. The data is computerized and title registered plans are issued digitally, now in Sri Lanka too.