LAHORE – Declaring the month of February as an anti-encroachment month, Pakistan Railways Police (PRP) has ‘at last’ decided to retrieve the utility’s land from the grabbers. The railways’ official claims that about 5,000 acres of the PR’s land is under illegal occupation. They say that private citizens have been occupying 3,000 acres, while about 1,000 acres and 1,200 acres are under the control of government and armed forces respectively. It is a general perception that the utility can earn about Rs500 million annually by leasing out the said land. Sources said that 98.32 and 430 acres of the PR land were illegally occupied only in Lahore and Karachi respectively. About a week ago, the Supreme Court had directed the Chief Secretaries of all the provinces as well as the Defence Secretary to retrieve the PR land occupied by the security forces. The court had also ordered the NAB to cooperate with the PR in reclaiming the illegally occupied land. The earlier management had once announced that the PR was not supposed to be a ‘real-estate department’ but its only duty was to operate trains. However, now it had been considered that the department should start a full-fledged campaign against land grabbers, said an official of the department. In this regard, the PR Police Inspector General Syed Ibne Hussain on Monday issued strict instructions from Central Police Office Railways Police to all SPs to coordinate with their counterparts of Railways and retrieve the precious land from the land mafia. Not only this, but he warned that the concerned Railways Police and Railways staff would be responsible if the retrieved land was occupied again. The Railways IGP also declared the month of February as anti encroachment month. He said that the PR was a big and important organisation of the country and all efforts would be made on the part of the police to bring back the Railways’ lost glory. He expressed commitment that no compromise would be made with the land mafia in future. He said that gone the days when land mafia thought it easy to occupy the railways’ land. We must stop the day by day increasing trend of occupying the utility’s land from the land grabbers, he directed the police officers.