LAHORE: Pakistan Railways (PR) has settled longstanding land issues with the Pakistan Army and Rangers, besides retrieving more than 851 acres of land, with an estimated value of Rs 46,156 million, across the country during the period January 1, 2012 to April 5, 2012, TheNation has learnt.
However, a major part of the land is still under illegal occupation and especially the progress towards the land occupied by the government departments in four provinces is nil.This is merit mentioning that the removal of encroachments on the PR land was started on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The PR’s Property and Land Directorate (PLD) is supervising the anti-encroachment campaign in eight railways’ divisions. A total 5,055.004 acres of land was under illegal occupation of private powerful land mafia, government departments and defence forces.
An official of the department told this scribe that under the on-going campaign, 851.381 acres of value Rs 46,156 million had been retrieved by evicting about 6,200 encroachers.It includes leasing of 496 acres of land under illegal occupation of Pakistan Rangers while 159.924 acres are commercial and agriculture, whereas residential encroachers were evicted from 107.575 acres, said the official.It is also said that 410 Railways quarters under unauthorised occupation of civilians, outsiders and officials had been got vacated or rented out under an agreement.According to the details, in pursuance of the issue with Pakistan Army and Rangers, the PR at first took the matter with Pakistan Rangers (Punjab).
And, it was learnt, the railways land measuring 497 acres in unauthorised occupation of Rangers has been regularised/leased out on mutually agreed terms and conditions from the date of the occupation.Similarly, the issue of unauthorised occupation of 1,069 acres of land by the army was also taken up with the Quarter Master General GHQ Rawalpindi. It was agreed to regularise the lease of 1250 acres of land, under utilisation of army for the purpose of strategic forestation, for a period of 10 years.As for as the issue of 447.304 acres of land under the unauthorised occupation of government (federal and provincial) departments in all over the country is concerned, there is zero progress, according to sources.
Though the railways headquarters is constantly directing the divisional superintendents to pursue the matter with the concerned authorities and the Member (Colonies) of the respective governments for regularisation of land under their occupation, no progress has been done in this regard, said the sources. Similarly, the issue of occupied land measuring 5.332 acres by Janbaz Force, 2.57 by Frontier Constabulary, 0.344 acres by Frontier Corp and 2.36 by FWO are yet to be resolved.It was also revealed that despite the Supreme Court suo motu notice, various lower courts granted 52 stay orders against removal of encroachment, which is being contested by the PR in respective courts. – Nation