PR could earn Rs500m by land leasing, claim railway officials - Pakistan Today

PR could earn Rs500m by land leasing, claim railway officials

Pakistan Railways (PR) officials claimed that the entity can earn up to Rs500 million annually by leasing out railway land, easing the financial crunch of the national entity.
Railway officials were briefing the sub-committee of senate standing committee on railways about progress on the issue of illegal occupation of railway land by individuals in Lahore.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of head of sub-committee senator Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi. The two member committee comprised of senators Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi and Abdul Khaliq Pirzada.
Director Technical Railways from Lahore Abdul Saeed Khan informed that the enforcement division has got retrieved 13 acres of agriculture land, 4.5 commercial and 4.27 acres residential land from the illegal occupants during last three month.
He further said that FIRs are lodged and police memos are issued against illegal occupants, adding that occupation of railway land by government department has already been taken up with the concerned departments and is being pursued for mutual settlement. PR also recovered Rs2 million on account of penalty from the occupants of land through an operation that was conducted in coordination with the task force. The committee was informed that 98.32 acres land of Pakistan Railways in Lahore was illegally occupied.
Addressing a case study of land occupation by individuals, Saeed Khan said that a person got some railway land on lease for Rs800,000 to set up a ‘Bachat Bazar’, but he constructed 350 cemented shops and sold them to different people for Rs300 million. Overall about 5,000 acres of land owned by Pakistan Railways has been under illegal occupation. As per break up of occupied land, citizens have been occupying 3,000 acres; government 1,000 acres and Pakistan army, rangers and Frontier Corps Balchistan 860 acres of land.
Committee members observed that encroachment on railway land was on the rise and the progress to retrieve the land is very slow. While expressing their dissatisfaction on the progress they directed the railway authorities to submit a detailed report in this regard within a month. Regarding the railway strategy to lease out land, senators were of the opinion that renting out precious railway land, on throw out prices, would not improve the institution until the authorities launch a strategy and operation against the ongoing corruption in the department.

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