Pakistan Railways retrieves 3573 acres of land; Senate told

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ISLAMABAD, Apr 19 (APP): Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Wednesday informed the Senate that Pakistan Railways has retrieved 3573 acres land by conducting anti encroachment operation.
In a written reply in the Senate, the minister said that presently 4196.79 acres of railway land is either encroached by private individuals or illegally possessed by departments, throughout the country.
He said that the campaign is still continuing against encroachers and several steps have been taken by the railway administration to retrieve the encroached land.
He added a detailed survey was carried out to identify and work out the details of encroached land illegally occupied by the individual encroachers and under illegal occupation of government departments.
He said that the campaign is being monitored by the Divisional Superintendents, Headquarters office and at the level of Ministry of Railways. A comprehensive policy has been drawn to prevent further encroachments.
This policy makes the Pakistan Railway Officers’s concerned or officials and Railway Policy officials jointly responsible in case of any new encroachment. He added Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and joint Procedure orders have since been issued for strict implementation of this policy.
He said that FIRs are being lodged and cases are being registered and sent to Railway Judicial Magistrates for expeditious trial. During the current campaign 1660 cases were registered and 1767 accused were arrested during the anti-encroachment operations.
He added the accused involved in 1179 cases were convicted whereas 35 were acquitted. He said that 61 cases are under investigation.
He said that the issue regarding illegal occupation or possession of Railway land by government departments or institutions has also been taken up with concerned departments.
A project for computerization of railway land record was initiated during April 2015. with the assistance of Urban Unit in order to harmonize the railway land record with the record of all the provincial revenue departments.
This project is near completion and will ensure safeguard of railway land through a computerized monitoring system and will render total transparency in land management, the minister added.