LAHORE - A meeting presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday decided to launch a grand operation to retrieve the land of Forest Department from land grabbers.

The chief minister has directed the concerned authorities for taking immediate steps for retrieving the land of provincial government occupied by grabbers in the cities side by side recovering the illegally occupied land of the Forest Department.

The CM has directed the authorities for launching land recovery operation against qabza mafia without any discrimination of powerful and weak, and high and low.  

“Every inch of state land will be recovered from land grabbers and action will be taken without any discrimination,” the chief minister said.

Shahbaz Sharif also ordered stern legal action against timber theft and said that special attention should be paid to protective measures for curbing such activities. He further directed Forest Department to conduct GIS mapping in order to evolve an authentic data of its land in the province and immediate measures should be taken in this regard with the help of concerned institutions.

He said that tree plantation should be carried out on the land recovered from Qabza Mafia besides new trees should be planted in hilly areas as well. He said that tree plantation would help control environmental pollution besides beautification of environment while new job opportunities would also be created for those associated with forest industry.

The chief minister said that besides plantation of new trees, a comprehensive plan should also be evolved for their conservation. He said that tree plantation campaign should be forwarded in Punjab as a mission and assured that he would provide all necessary resources for this purpose.

Shahbaz Sharif also constituted a committee headed by the chief secretary and directed that it should present a comprehensive plan within two weeks regarding tree plantation in the province.

The Forests Department secretary gave a briefing on the steps taken for retrieving the land from grabbers.