LAHORE – Senator Abdul Ghaffar Qureshi, the convener of the Senate Standing Committee’s sub-committee on Railways, on Monday disclosed that the Pakistan Railways’ high-ups were involved in grabbing the Authority’s land, worth billions of rupees, across the country.

Mr Ghaffar, along with Senator Dr. Abdul Khaliq, revealed the above land grabbing while talking to reporters after holding a meeting with the Railways’ officers.

“The PR officers involvement in grabbing of the department’s property are a major hurdle in the way for retrieving the valuable land,” he held. From the total land, he told the media persons, nearly 15,000 acres “have been illegally grabbed by the Federal government and the provincial departments, including Pakistan Rangers, Army, and Janbaz Force.

Earlier, the participants of the meeting discussed the progress made so far to retrieve the land grabbed by Shalimar Hospital in Mugulpura. They expressed their dissatisfaction over the efforts made by the Railways and police to get the land back. The Committee, however, directed the Railways officials to speed up efforts to complete the task.

A Railways police official told the meeting that the PR police had so far retrieved land from many encroachers. “We retrieved 494 acre, 2 kanals, 3 marlas and 213 Sq. Ft. of land from the encroachers. Out of this, more than 145 acres of land was retrieved in Lahore division alone,” the police officer told the meeting.

Senator Abdul Ghaffar said that a committee comprising high-ups of the Pakistan Railways would meet heads of the Federal and provincial governments for vacation of the Railways residential, commercial and agriculture properties. He said the PR administration had prepared a comprehensive report about the encroachments, land leases, and the land grabbed. This report, he said, would be presented in the Parliament so that the Prime Minister could take necessary action against the land grabbers, he added.