LAHORE  - Anti-encroachment campaign of Pakistan Railways (PR) has considerably decelerated in all of the eight divisions of the department as concerned divisional superintendents (DSs) have recovered no land in their limits especially during last four-week, TheNation has learnt.

Removal of encroachment was started on the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on January 1, 2012. So far the department has retrieved 2101.381 acres from its total grabbed land of 5055.004 acres all over the country. Feeling the progress of the divisions in land recovery has gone really down since final hearing of the court on March 19, 2012, the Railways Chairman and Additional General Manager /Infrastructure has expressed serious concern on the slow progress and lack of interest by the DS’s in this important assignment. The top management of the department through a letter has also directed the DS’s to continue with the anti-encroachment campaign relentlessly. The DS’s are also advised to emphasise on commercial encroachment, plazas, commercial centres, petrol pumps and CNG stations. On the other hand, the details of the land retrieved in the month of April, clearly shows the slow progress and lack of interest of the DS’s in land recovery campaign.

DS Peshawar retrieved only 1.408, DS Rawalpindi only 0.544 acres, DS Lahore only 1.661 acres while no land has been recovered in Mughalpura Workshop and Quetta divisions. The campaign remained comparatively good in Multan and Karachi with recovery of four and five acres respectively. Category wise review of the total land retrieved land from January 1 to date also revealed that the progress is very slow in recovery of the commercial land as compared to agriculture and residential ones. Similarly, the progress in retrieving land owned by government departments in all the provinces is also zero. From the occupied private agriculture land of 714.331 acres, the railways retrieved about 147 acres and from the occupied private residential area of 2119.541 acres, the department recovered 135.525 acres but out of the commercial occupied land of 205.710 acres of worth billions, only 74.457 acres so for have been retrieved. Due to the overall slow progress in last four weeks and lack of interests in recovery of commercial land, the Railways Chairman expressed concern and directed the DS’s to immediately speed up the anti-encroachment campaign, said the sources.