Railways retrieve 16 acres commercial land from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has retrieved 16.052 acres commercial land at Peshawar, Dargai, Mardan, Nowshera and Mardan stations from encroachers and un-authorized government departments.

“A detailed survey was carried out to identify encroached land, illegally occupied by the individual encroachers and un-authorized Government Departments,” an official told reporter.

He said that a comprehensive policy has been drawn up to prevent further encroachments, adding this policy makes the concerned Pakistan Railway Official and Railway Police 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 official added.

He said that First Information Reports (FIRs) are being lodged and cases are registered and sent to Railway Judicial Magistrates for expeditious trial.

“During the current campaign against the encroachers, 80 cases were registered and 78 accused were arrested during the anti-encroachment operations,” the official added.

He said that as many as 77 cases have been decided by the courts so far in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the issue regarding illegal occupation/possession of Railway land by government institutions has also been taken up with concerned departments.

The official said the encroachment campaign is being monitored by the Divisional Superintendents, Headquarters office and at the level of Ministry of Railways.

To a question, he said that it is a fact that passenger train service on Nowshera- Dargai Charsadda- Mardan section has been discontinued since 31-01-2000 and there is no proposal under consideration to restore passenger train service on this section in near future.