PM’s aide rings alarm bells for ‘land grabbers’, launches cadastral maps

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enewspaper.com.pk/ PM’s aide rings alarm bells for ‘land grabbers’

ISLAMABAD, (APP): Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Sunday shared the digitized cadastral maps of state lands and announced that Prime Minister Imran Khan would share this data with the provinces for strict action against land grabbers encroaching many of these lands.

Addressing a media briefing here, the SAPM shared the latest cadastre maps prepared by the Survey of Pakistan of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan whereas those of Sindh were underway due to information delay from the authorities.

Amin said the cadastral mapping was launched by the Prime Minister one and half years back to fulfill his promise with the nation to launch punitive and impartial action against the land encroachers.

“These maps precisely indicate every inch of state land and its encroached area along with proper dates,” he added.

The SAPM informed that under the cadastral mapping some 50,000 square kilometers area was covered being conducted in the four federating units of Punjab, KP, Balochistan, and Sindh.

In Punjab and KP, he said around 160,000 acres of public or state land encroached that worth Rs500 billion. The forest land mapping of 30,000 square kilometers was also completed under the digitized cadastral mapping out of which 700,000 acres forest land was intruded by the land grabbing mafia, he added.

Amin underlined that the encroached state land number was highest in the Sindh province but due to delay in data sharing its cadastre map was in the offing.

According to one of the completed digital cadastre maps, 71 percent (10,970 acres) of forest land in District Benazir Abad, Sindh was encroached out of the total 15,450 acres, Takhtpari Forest in Rawalpindi had a total of 2,210 acres area out of which 755 acres almost 34 percent encroached.

However, the Lohi Behr Forest area lying at the border of Rawalpindi and Islamabad had over 57 percent (629 acres) of its total area of 1,089 acres was encroached by land mafia. Karachi Forest Division which was now called ‘a concrete jungle’ had 2,703 square kilometers of forest area originally which was reduced to only 0.4 percent by the land grabbers.

The SAPM lamented that the prior regimes kept a criminal silence over these encroachments and avoided any punitive action against the land-grabbing mafias. “Qabza Mafia (land grabbers) need to be alert now as Prime Minister will give this data to the provinces that will initiate action to retrieve the grabbed state and forest lands,” Amin Aslam said.

The SAPM underscored that it was a very brief trailer of plundering made by the land-grabbing mafia. “Under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami Plantation project the encroached 700,000 acres forest area will be recouped and it has the potential to increase the existing forest cover of 5 percent to 8 percent,” he highlighted.

He told that these encroachments were documented by the Survey of Pakistan which was the highest authority to confirm state-lands area demarcation.

Responding to media queries, he said the present government has initiated a sincere effort to launch digitized cadastre maps of the state-lands.

Replying to another query, he said the federal government would monitor the anti-encroachment operation by the provincial governments particularly of Punjab and KP.

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