Islamabad: Pakistan Railways acknowledged on Friday that more than 4,229 acres of its land worth Rs 92.78 billion is still illegally occupied by other departments during the National Assembly Standing committee on Railways.
The Railways officials revealed this while briefing the committee regarding Pakistan railway.
In the briefing, Punjab province tops the list due to its 2,170 acres of land is illegally occupied, Sindh with 1,189 acres, Balochistan with 1,189 acres and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 250.9 acres.
Secretary Parveen Agha, Additional General Manager Humayun Rasheed, Director Land and Property Arshad Salam Khattak and Director General Technical Syed Munawar Shah briefed the committee members.
Railways officials acknowledged that a vast portion of the occupied land situated in the both provinces while land worth of Rs 50.9 billion is encroached in the Balochistan province, followed by Punjab with Rs 22.58 billion of land, Sindh 11.5 billion and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rs 7.7 billion.
Private individuals occupied 4,338 acres and defense departments have control over 251.23 acres of Pakistan Railway land.
The total commercially occupied land is about 129 acres land; 73 acres in Balochistan, 48 acres in Sindh, 7 acres in Punjab respectively. 442 acres in Balochistan, 448 acres in Sindh, and 463 acres in Punjab of the 1,353 acres residential land. 46 in Balochistan, 644 acres in Sindh, 11 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 1255 acres in Punjab have been occupied, of the 1956 acres agriculture land.
Director Land and Property stated that 3550.974 acres of Pakistan Railways’ land have been recovered from illegal occupants since January 2012.
The committee was briefed that Railways has a total of 167,690 acres of land illegally occupied including 90,326 acres in Punjab, 39428 acres in Sindh, 28,228 acres in Balochistan and 9,707 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Railways Ministry has took measures to regain the occupied land and appealed in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against three provinces for not transferring land back to the organization.
Recent Railways accidents were also discussed during the session. The committee was informed that the 60% of the accidents were caused due to remote-controlled crossing, unaccredited Railways crossing and controlled level crossing.
In order to ensure the safety of trains operations, Pakistan Railways had conducted a joint venture surveys for the up-gradations of existing unmanned level crossing in collaboration with Provincial and Local District Governments. The Committee recommended that the proper steps may taken by the Ministry to avoid these type of incidents in future.
It was further informed that 52 million passenger travel through Rail every year.
The committee also reviewed the up-gradation of Mainline (ML-1) has been included in the early harvest projects in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Formation of a Sub-Committee under the supervision of MNA Ramesh Lal also decided during the committee meeting, to examine the encroachment of Railways’ land in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Sardar Muhammad Irfan Dogar, Rasheed Ahmad Khan, Phyllis Azeem, Ramesh Lal, Engr. Hamid-ul-Haq Khalil, and Naseema Hafeez Panezai MNAs attended the meeting.