ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has accelerated its effort to retrieve around 13,972 acres of land worth billions of rupees found to be illegally occupied by private individuals as well as various government departments across Pakistan.
“Around 5,809 acres are illegally occupied in Punjab, 1,181 acres are encroached on in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5,948 acres in Sindh and 1,034 acres in Balochistan,” an official in Pakistan’s Ministry of Railways told APP.
He said the illegally occupied land was commercial, residential, agricultural.
Giving details of the land, the official said that around 769 acres were commercial in all the provinces, 3,309 residential, 5,512 acres agricultural and 4382 were encroached on by various persons or departments.
The anti-encroachment operation against land grabbers across the country will retrieve Railways land from individuals, groups and even business organizations that have been using it for residential, commercial and agriculture purposes for decades.
“The joint procedure orders have been issued to all Divisional Superintendents of Pakistan Railways to retrieve the railway land from encroachers,” an official said. Accordingly, he said the anti-encroachment operations for retrieval of encroached Railway land all over the Railway network are being initiated by the concerned divisions and notices are issued to encroachers under the Possession Ordinance 1965 for vacation of Railway land/structure within 14 days.
The official said that Pakistan Railway Police, District Administration and law enforcement agencies have been informed of necessary assistance in anti-encroachment operations and to control and stop new encroachments, he said Railway officers within railway station premises, the station master concerned, those within and around the colony premises, inspector of works and Railway Police had been assigned responsibilities.
“The anti-encroachment schedules, on a three-month basis, are being prepared and sent to all concerned in line with the joint procedure order,” he said adding that the operation will be launched with the assistance of Railway Police and district administrations of the relevant provincial governments.
The official said PR owned 167,690 acres of land across the country, of which 90,326 acres were in Punjab, 39,428 acres in Sindh, 28,228 acres in Balochistan and 9,708 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. ‑APP