LAHORE - The land grabbers mafia is plundering the property of the stakeholders at the site of the proposed National Park on River Ravi by purchasing their land on cheap rates. According to a survey conducted by The Nation the proposed site of the park encompasses Narang Mandi passing through Ravi Syphon to Village Maraka. According to the Punjab Government report more than 400,000 kanals land of 64 villages of district Lahore and Sheikhupura is likely to be acquired for the proposed park. The land mafia have placed banners and wall-chalking in the surrounding localities, warning the stakeholders and residents of the area that construction on the proposed land is unlawful. These threatening slogans and banners are not only causing uncertainty among the landowners but also are benefiting the land mafia which continued to purchase land on low rate from the people by threatening the people that government is acquiring their land without compensation. Moreover land mafia campaign includes some political figures, estate dealers and patwaris of the concerned areas. The landowners of the area are uncertain about the real situation in the absence of any notification by the government. The stakeholders expressing their apprehensions said that government did not issue any notification in this regard, which is causing uncertainty among the landowners and other stakeholders, which is being exploited by the land mafia. The people of the area said that government had restricted them from any construction but did not clarify that how and when the government would acquire their land and how much amount the government would pay them in compensation. A landowner Malik Ashraf said that earlier government had paid about Rs350,000 to Rs450,000 per marla to the landowners when the government acquired land for the construction of Ring Road. Although rates vary according to location and we now are expecting sufficient amount as compensation from the government as per the value of land because rates of commercial and industrial areas and the land near the Ring Road are high and must be paid according to the value of land, he added. Haji Ashiq another stakeholder and landowner said that the government neither announced compensation nor issued any notification in this regard for the information of stakeholders and landowners, which is leading to spread different rumours, which is multiplying their worries. We are ready to vacate our agriculture land if given sufficient compensation amount but not ready to vacate over villages because we could not remove our graveyards where their elders are buried, he said adding that all the stakeholders would stage protest demonstration against the construction of just a recreational park on the dead bodies of our elders. He however demanded of the government to issue any notification in this regard so that the land-grabbing mafia could be discouraged. Khalifa Khan said that in case government paid reasonable amount according to the local rates to the landowners against their land, the landowners would willingly vacate their lands otherwise they would go to court against the decision of the government, which is their only asset. In this regard, District Officer Revenue Zulfiqar Ghuman told this scribe that government planned to establish National Park in order to eliminate rapidly increasing pollution in the City due to industry in the area, which also is polluting the water of Ravi, besides creating recreational activities for the citizens. He said the govt would compensate the landowners and other stakeholders according to the value of their and would not acquire land forcibly. Govt has constituted a committee to finalise further measures in this regard including finalising compensation issue for the stakeholders, he concluded.