DERA GHAZI KHAN-The anti-encroachment drive launched jointly by the district administration and the municipal corporation has silenced after little resistance by mafia which, ‘what locals say,’ is not good for Clean and Green Punjab programme.

Two days ago, the teams of district administration had commenced an anti-encroachment operation on Railway Road, Hospital Road, Pul Dat, Jampur Road, and Faisal Chowk on the orders of DG Khan Deputy Commissioner Ali Akbar Bhatti. The teams demolished permanent structures erected on the roads. A large number of police personnel accompanied the anti-encroachment teams, but the teams still faced resistance by mafia.

Talking to The Nation, DC Ali Akbar Bhatti said that state land worth Rs666.4 million was retrieved by the anti-encroachment teams; more than 600 encroachments were removed; a fine of Rs364,000 was imposed on the encroachers, and two cases were registered against two of them. He reiterated that the Punjab government had adopted a zero tolerance policy toward land grabbers.

Talking to The Nation, Kot Chutta Assistant Commissioner Imtiaz Mohsin said that National Highway crossing in Kot Chutta City was cleared from encroachments on both sides. “Now 66 feet wide national highway road is available in the centre of city for all kind of traffic flow.” Imtiaz vowed that state land of Sakhi Sarwar Town as well as of Forest Department would also be recovered from land mafia in the upcoming days. He stated that the operation against encroachments would remain continue without any break; it would be kept under observation constantly to avoid re-encroachment. He added that in second phase of the operation, the encroachers would be booked and penalized under the law.

When The Nation approached Amjad Hussain, chief officer of DG Khan Municipal Corporation, he said that the Punjab government was taking it serious to remove the encroachments because they created hurdles in smooth flow of traffic.

He added that important areas like main roads, educational and health institutions, illegal plazas and commercial buildings, important crossings, corners of roads, etc would be given more importance in anti-encroachment drive.

He claimed that all the Municipal Corporation chief officers in Punjab had been assigned to ensure removal of all kinds of encroachments from posh areas in close coordination with the administration and the police. “The officials concerned have been directed not to consider any pressure in this regard.”