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ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 (APP): Pakistan Railways has directed the concerned quarters to expedite the efforts for retrieval of department’s precious land by launching crackdown against the land mafia.

The directives had been issued by Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati and in that regard he would hold meeting with all chief ministers for their assistance to retrieve Pakistan Railways land from encroachers, an official told APP.

Giving details of the land, he said Pakistan Railways owned 167,690 acres of land across the country, of which 90,326-acre is in Punjab, 39,428-acre in Sindh, 28,228-acre in Balochistan and 9,708-acre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

To a question, he said Pakistan Railways had recovered around 383 acres precious land worth over Rs 30 billion under its anti-encroachment operation across the country during last two years.

“The encroachment operation has been launched with the assistance of railway police and district administrations,” he added.

He said in a recent opertation against land grabbers, the Rawalpindi Division had retrieved over seven acres railway land worth over Rs 116 million from the land encroachers.

He said the Geographic Information System (GIS) survey had also been conducted under the project of computerization of railway land records in which all the encroachments and leases had been recorded in the Pakistan Railways Land Management Information System (PRLMS) software.

The official said the database was under verification and being compiled. For the last two years, he said, Pakistan Railways has been doing its utmost to get the problem of land encroachment resolved where thousands of acres of land had been occupied for commercial, residential and agriculture purposes.