KARACHI - Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Wednesday informed the Sindh Assembly that a huge area of 18,000-acre land has been retrieved from the land grabbers in Karachi by the PPP-led Government of Sindh. He was speaking on a resolution in Sindh Assembly, which urged the government to take steps for retrieval of forestland occupied by influential persons in Sindh province. The CM said that when water from the Indus receded and land fell vacant the influential people occupied it, which is currently in thousands of acres in Katcha area. However, the government has taken steps to get vacated the land from illegal encroachment of influential persons, Shah said, adding that 2/3rd trees in Katcha area have been chopped off illegally by encroachers. He announced that the government was going to amend law to allot 25-acres land to small farmers in Katcha area with an incentive of allotting additional 5 acres land to plant trees on it. The lease/allotment of land will be conditional with plantation of trees because Government has no capacity to plant trees in huge quantity and later to look after of them, Shah said. CM Sindh said that he conceded that encroachment on Katcha land still continued, but the practice was less in the present government than the encroachment of thousands of acres in the previous governments. Action to retrieve the encroached land was unpleasant as it created anger among lots of influential peoples in Sindh, Qaim Ali Shah said, vowing that Sindh Government will continue operation against land grabbers in the interest of Sindh and its public. We have broken all the private embankments, except one, constructed by influential persons in Katcha area. Besides committees comprising MPAs have been formed to suggest action against land grabbers who occupied on forest land in Sindh, the Anti-Encroachment Law is a universal law, which also to be used against the forest land occupiers in the province, the CM said. Shah informed the House that 18,000-acre land had been retrieved from occupiers in Karachi, which amounts billion of rupees. He said that much other land was still under the possession of land grabbers, which will be taken back from them. The induction for separate police force was under process because corruption could hinder the action against the land grabbers through induction of present police force in anti-encroachment force. T he CM pointed out that it was unpleasant and difficult task to take action against land grabbers. The retrieval of land from occupiers will not possible immediately, its going to take time and cooperation will require from all the section of society to succeed in this regard, CM said. Earlier, mover of the resolution Bachal Shah of PPP said that influential persons occupied forestland on fake leases, which need to get back from them. Environment Minister Shaikh Muhammad Afzal said that trees are necessary for safe environment. After speeches, the house passed resolution unanimously, which read: This Assembly resolves and recommends to the Government of Sindh to immediately get back the government forest land occupied forcibly by land grabbers.