KARACHI - Provincial Revenue Minister Jam Saifullah Dharejo has admitted of receiving reports regarding irregularities in the land distribution programme of Sindh government and he was planning to conduct inquiry and take action against those involved. He was addressing a conference titled Sindh Governments Land Distribution Programme: Issues and Options organised jointly by Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) and Oxfam here on Thursday. Dharejo said he was planning to conduct inquiry that as to how and why facts were twisted in the data of land available for distribution in different districts by the Revenue authorities. He further said that he had been informed that the land distributed among landless women farmers was not fit for cultivation in many districts and in several other areas influential people ware trying to usurp the land granted to the poor families. The Minister added that he would take strict action on the issue and asked civil society institutions to highlight flaws in the programme so that it could be turned into a successful project. He said that handing over the Revenue Department to district governments under devolution and decentralisation plan has completely destroyed the department. Due to the weaknesses in the department, land mafia has become powerful and it has resulted in bloody violence in Karachi, he said. Dharejo announced that a separate force for Revenue department would be created in place of police to challenge land grabbers. Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Minister for Jails, Muzzaffar Shujra said the distribution of state land among landless haris was the dream of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto and the present government was committed to materialise her dream. He said that besides land distribution among women, they would also be empowered through economic package to cultivate it. A good number of civil society leaders, experts and researchers presented their papers in the conference. They included Oxfam GB Programme Manager Fatima Naqvi, PDI Director Sikander Brohi, Dr. Fatih Marri, Actionaid Senior Programme Officer Adam Malik and others. They warned the land distribution programme of Sindh government would fail without adequate 'economic package for poor land grantees for the cultivation of those lands. While appreciating the features of the programme, especially preference given to women in the land distribution programme, the experts and elected representatives lamented there were serious flaws in the identification of state land and its distribution among poor families. They added the local elected representatives and civil society was not engaged in the process and only Revenue Department was given mandate for distribution of this land and identification of deserved people. As a result, the revenue department failed in identifying the actual available land and even there are reports of political favouritism in the distribution of land. In several districts, wives of influential people received land instead of poor and deserving women, they alleged. They further alleged that process of open kutcheries for land distribution was also flawed as the local communities were not properly informed about those kutcheries. They added in many cases kutcheries were held in areas of powerful politicians where they influenced this process. Besides, there were no separate open courts for the landless women farmers, they concluded.