JHANG-Revenue officers of all the four tehsils of Jhang district have recently collected data of the state agricultural and residential lands grabbed by the land mafia, it is learnt.

According to the figures collected by The Nation, some 24,000 acres of agricultural, residential and commercial land of the state has been grabbed by Qabza groups being “supported by the influential Patwaris and other corrupt revenue officials”.

Some 1,900 acres of the grabbed land is situated in Jhang tehsil, 300 acres in Shorkot, 1,300 acres in Ahmadpur Sial and 20,000 acres in Atharan Hazari. The land mafia always remains active and thousands of acres of the state as well as private lands are in their possession whereas hundreds of acres have been sold out to the masses after dividing into residential commercial plats deceitfully.

Despite repeated actions and efforts, the administration has failed to crush the influential groups allegedly backed by some political personalities and supported by corrupt employees of Revenue Department. It has also been learnt that majority of the Qabza groups are either headed by the corrupt employees or guided by them. Some of the residential plots and agricultural lands have been transferred by the corrupt employees to their own family members.

Sources said that the land mafia usually succeeds in obtaining stay order from civil courts with the help of corrupt revenue officials and the practice has been continuing for years. However, the administration is helpless in retrieving the land, he added.

The condition of agricultural as well as residential lands owned by Auqaf Departments is also bad as the major portion of these lands is under illegal occupation of Qabza groups. About one third of the urban property and half of the agricultural Auqaf land is in illegal possession.