Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Over 4,000 acres ‘encroached’ land retrieved in capital, claims minister

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ISLAMABAD: As the operation against encroachments continues in Islamabad, State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi has said that 33,000 kanals land (approx. 4124 acres) illegally occupied in the federal capital have been retrieved.

The lands are located in the nearby towns of Karol and Kari which that state minister said had been encroached. He said that an illegal depot in Faizabad has also been demolished.

The state minister said that a message will be sent from Islamabad that there is a rule of law in the country. He said that he has been reporting to Prime Minister Imran Khan on a regular basis.

He said that government officers were threatened in the past but now action will be taken against the encroachers.

Anti-encroachment drive

The anti-encroachment operation in Islamabad is being carried out by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) which has now been placed under the administrative control of the interior ministry.

The decision was made on Thursday after a meeting of the federal which decided to abolish the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD).

Information minister Fawad Chaudhry said the anti-encroachment operation would continue and that the civic agency had retrieved land worth Rs7.5 billion from encroachers.

He said 34,459 kanals used for guest houses across the country would now be used for commercial purposes and that 70,335 kanals of state land in the country was not being utilised.

The minister said the government wants to retrieve state land from encroachers and action against those officials accused of helping the encroachers will be taken later.

The state minister has been directly monitoring the operation. Recently, he visited G-12 where CDA’s team was removing encroachments from the Kashmir Highway

On Thursday, he visited Zone-IV where over 28,000 kanals of land has been is illegally occupied by individuals and housing societies. The CDA has started demarcating over 1,000 kanals land occupied by a housing society in the area.

The minister appreciated the CDA chairman’s efforts and directed the Islamabad deputy commissioner to conduct the operation without any fear. He said that action would only be taken against influential people and not the poor.

He strongly criticised the previous CDA management and police for not protecting the civic agency’s land and encroached them to continue the operation.

‘Dead capital’

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan has “dead capital” in the form of state lands worth a staggering Rs 300 billion rupees.

He said the country that has to borrow money to pay interest on its loans while having a huge amount of dead capital in the form of state-owned buildings and land.

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