Railways registers 1660 cases against land encroachers

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has registered as many as 1660 cases and 1767 accused were arrested during the current ongoing anti-encroachment operations against encroachers.

“The accused involved in 1179 cases were convicted whereas 35 were acquitted and 61 cases are under investigation,” an official source in the Ministry of Railways told reporter.

FIRs are being lodged and cases are registered and sent to Railway Judicial Magistrates for expeditious trial, the source added.

To a question, he said that 4,196.79 acres land of Pakistan Railways is either encroached by private individuals or unauthorizedly possessed by the government department throughout the country.

Giving detail, he said that “As many as 2158.697 acres land has been encroached in Punjab, 250.914 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1167.711 acres in Sindh and 619.468 acres in Balochistan,” he told while giving province-wise breakup of the encroached land.

Pakistan Railways has retrieved and regularized 3,573 acres land by conducting anti-encroachment operation which is still continuing against encroachers.

The ministry has taken steps to retrieve the encroached land and carried out a detailed survey to identify railways illegally occupied land by individuals and government departments.

The campaign is being monitored by the Divisional Superintendents, Headquarter Office and at the level of Ministry of Railways.

A comprehensive policy has been formulated prevent further encroachments. This policy makes the concerned officers and officials jointly responsible in case of any new encroachment.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and joint Procedure orders have since been issued for strict implementation of this policy.

The issue regarding illegal occupation of Railway land by government departments has also been taken up with concerned departments.