KARACHI - The Public Accounts Committee of Sindh Assembly on Tuesday found anomalies in the Forest Department and observed that the department had failed to retrieve thousands of acres of forest land encroached by influential in various districts. The irregularities came in light during the PAC meeting, which considered and discussed the audit reports of the year 2004-05 and 2005-06 of the department held at the Committee Room of Sindh Assembly Building, with Sardar Jam Tamachi Unner in the chair. The committee reviewed and discussed 16 paras, of which five were settled and remaining, were deferred. Sardar Jam Tamachi said the plantation and its protection were the duty of the Forest Department, but it has failed to discharge it function. He said that decline in the area of forest started some one and a half decades back. During previous regime large chunks of forestland were encroached by influential entity and no serious effort was made to retrieve that land. Huge funds allocated for the department also did not yield any result, he added. Jam Tamachi said that indiscriminate stern and ruthless action was needed right from Karachi to Kashmore to vacate forest land encroached upon by the people. He said it seemed that help of police and rangers alone will not be enough in anti encroachment drive on forest land as the people got hold of forest land for the last two to three decades had become owners of that lands. They constructed homes on the portion of the encroached land and also brought it under cultivation, he added. Jam Tamachi suggested that a committee should be constituted that will decide to launch an operation against the encroachers. The committee also reviewed and settled two paras regarding Information and Archives Department. Jam Tamachi said that committee wanted to see whether the distribution of advertisement was made on merit. He said that it remained practice that advertisements were given to dummy and blued eyed newspapers after getting commission. Secretary Information Sindh Asrar Malik informed the committee that Rs400 million were outstanding against government on account of advertisement. However, from July 2008 to March 2009, Sindh Chief Minister has granted approval for Rs193 million for disbursement of advertisement dues. He said that Chief Ministers Inspection Team was verifying the liability of Rs200 million thereafter the department will approach the finance department. The Secretary said that no financial complication was seen in the department during current year. Responding to a query, secretary information informed the committee that Sindh government has no broadcasting system. It has two mouthpiece- monthly Izhar and Paigham. Replying to another question, the secretary said that Sindh information department remained in constant touch with journalist community and it provides financial help to the journalist who approached for help. He said that usually finance department allocated Rs10 million in this account but it increased to Rs20 million. He said that if any journalist got injured, he was provided financial help after the approval of chief minister.