Pakistan Railways retrieves land from army
RAWALPINDI, May 28: Pakistan Railways (PR) has reached a settlement with Pakistan Army over a land dispute of eight acres in Rawalpindi while negotiations were still under way to retrieve another 24 acres.
This was disclosed by the railway authorities during a visit of National Assembly Standing Committee on Railway sub-committee to Rawalpindi Railway Station on Monday.
The sub-committee led by its convener MNA Ramesh Lal visited the city to review the anti-encroachment drive of the PR that was commenced on February 1. Other members of the committee MNAs Dr Talat Mahesar and Dr Mohammad Ayub Sheikh were also present on the occasion.
The sub-committee expressed its annoyance over the absence of director legal of the PR and directed the authorities to convey the legal status of the drive as soon as possible to the committee.However, the committee expressed satisfaction over the progress made in the drive and said the remaining encroached land should be retrieved as soon as possible. It said that the basic aim of the campaign was to get back the railway land from the encroachers as the land would provide earning and help execute expansion plans of the organisation.
The committee was informed that the railway conducted land swap deal with armed forces. “The army constructed Askari-10 at the back side of Jinnah Park over railway land and, in return, it provided eight acres to the PR in Lahore adjoining the Lahore Dry Port,” the railway officials said.
Divisional Superintendent Syed Munawar Shah told Dawn that committee was informed in detail about the status of the PR negotiations with army and other departments.
He also informed that during the drive, the PR had managed to get back 41 acres from the encroachers and remaining five acres would be retrieved soon.
He said that the negotiations with Punjab government were also in progress over the issue of land encroachment as Punjab Housing and Physical Planning Department had encroached 7.75 acres, Katchi Abadis had encroached 18 acres whereas
12.75 acres had been encroached in the shape of roads in different localities by the Punjab government.
The railway officials also showed the video clippings and photographs of land retrieved by the railway authorities. While talking to Dawn, MNA Ramesh Lal said, “We should appreciate the good work of the organisation,” and added that the
committee was informed that the PR had conducted land swap deal with army and got land, in return, of equal value in
Lahore. “It is a routine matter in the government departments to conduct such deals,” he said.
When asked to comment on the performance of the organisation, he said the sub-committee had a mandate limited to look into the land-related affairs of the organisation.