KARACHI Despite several announcements made by Kea-mari Municipal Administration to remove encroachments from the towns beaches along the Hawks Bay, no initiative has been taken in this regard so far, TheNation has learn. It has been a prolong demand of the fishers community and villagers to launch a massive operation to remove encroachments from the towns beaches, particularly along the Hawks Bay strip where mangrove sites are being rapidly demolished. A survey of the town shows that land-grabbing activity is in full swing and a vast area of mangrove sites in the coast of the town was being destroyed and being occupied and sold for commercial purposes by highly influential people. When contacted, the town officials, requested not to be named, have admitted that land-grabbing was a chronic and one of the major problems in the town, which needed immediate solution of concerned government agencies. According to the town management, nearly 70 percent of the towns land comes under jurisdiction of the KPT and the Revenue Department and it is the responsibility of both agencies to protect government land, which is being forcibly occupied and sold by interested quarters. Because of its vast land area, the towns landscape had always attracted those who had vested interest in the development of land there. The town officials said that in several occasions, the matter was brought into the notice of the relevant government departments for the removal of encroachments from public places, but no seriousness was shown by the concerned authorities. Unless notified and authorised by the land management authorities, officials said the town administration could not move on its own, saying that action would be taken accordingly. The town covered islands including the Shamspir, Baba and Bhit islands besides picnic spots along the citys coastline, which included the Hawks Bay beach and scenic places such as the Mubarak Village. But the officials argued that in the absence of a clear-cut land allotment policy and demarcation of land owned by villagers, disputes always took place between government agencies and residents over the ownership of the land. The officials further said that the situation further aggravated due to duplication of documents. A number of people with the connivance of officials had received such fake documents and occupied valuable government land. Not only that, vast areas of mangrove sites on the seaside were being destroyed and being used for commercial purposes by the land mafia. In the past the officials had suggested to launch a full-fledged anti-encroachment drive. But town administration had a limited mandate. It could only remove encroachments that too with legal force and availability of required equipment and with the coordination of other land management agencies. The officials also suggested that a camp office should be established by the Revenue Department in the town for the demarcation of land and verification of legal documents. The local body system introduced by former president Musharraf could not succeed without the cooperation of government agencies. The town authorities regretted the indifferent attitude of the KPT in this regard, complaining that its management had always ignored the requests of the Town Municipal Administration.