LAHORE - The Punjab Government on Wednesday assigned duties of special magistrates to another 20 city district government officials, bringing the overall tally to 70, with the purpose to ensure sale of commodities at government fixed prices during the holy month of Ramadan, The Nation has learnt. Earlier, 54 special magistrates were carrying out price checking in their respective jurisdictions, however, the count decreased to 50 as the Punjab govt withdrew powers from one officer while three were transferred from the City. These special magistrates have already been assigned areas of their jurisdictions. Following issuance of notification from the Govt, District Coordination Officer Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta has assigned areas to 20 special magistrates with the directions to ensure sale of essential commodities at the government fixed prices. These special magistrates can conduct raids in their respective assigned areas and impose fine and award punishment on the spot to the retailers involved in overcharging after carrying out summary trial. "The City District Government Lahore forwarded the name of these 20 officers to the Punjab Govt few days back with the request to confer magisterial powers on these for price checking," said an official at the DCO office. "After getting a nod from the Punjab Govt, the DCO has assigned areas to these special magistrates for the purpose of price checking, he said, adding, the increase in the number of special magistrates would make price checking more effective during the holy month of Ramadan. The sources say that the CDGL can make a fresh request to the Punjab Government for getting magisterial powers for its more officers to fulfil the increasing need of price checking during the holy month of fasting. Anti-encroachment drive Lahore Development Authority has launched a grand anti-encroachment operation along both sides of Satukatla drain for restoring green belt. The action, which was kicked off on Wednesday from Akbar Chowk, Moulana Shoukat Ali Road will culminate near Madr-e-Millat Road, Quaid-e-Azam Town within the next three days. Staff of the Enforcement and Estate Management Directorates of LDA, with the assistance of local police, carried out the operation by using heavy machinery and removed as many as ten workshops, 25 building material stories and a large number of concrete structures. that had been illegally set up on the state land. The operation will continue Thursday (today).