ETPB Pakistan Railways Retrieve Land Worth Billions

In 2022, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) successfully reclaimed 22 billion rupees’ worth of agricultural, residential, and commercial land from land speculators. On the other hand, Pakistan Railways (PR) also recovered its land through operations last year, many of which were supported by the Federal Investigation Agency, for a total of Rs 10 billion (FIA).

The properties that were recovered are estimated to be worth over Rs22 billion, ETPB Chairman Dr. Habibur Rehman Gilani stated to Dawn on Tuesday. The largest portions of the recovered land included 600 acres in the district of Bhakkar.

A forensic audit of the ETPB properties, their custody, leasing, income, losses, etc., was ordered a few years ago by the apex court in a case involving a temple in Karak. The audit revealed a number of residences that were either illegally occupied or whose occupants had been behind on their rent for a while.

The ETPB reportedly informed the court of the police’s alleged lack of cooperation in land recovery during a court hearing last year and requested assistance from other authorities. The FIA was instructed by the court to support ETPB in this way.

In terms of recovering state land, the year 2022 was “unprecedented,” the ETP chairman declared, adding that efforts will continue actively in the current year as well.

In a previous meeting, the ETPB administration declared that the trust board is a trustee for Pakistan’s services to minorities and places of worship. To promote the historical heritage, it was stated that a digital library and museum were being built in Nankana Sahib. While Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s birthplace in Gujranwala is being refurbished, measures are being taken to accommodate pilgrims from all over the world. Committees have been established to plan the Vaisakhi Mela.

In contrast, the PR filed 3,111 cases in 2022 against people who broke railroad and other laws. An additional 3,189 suspects might have been detained, according to a PR Police official. Up to 530 charges of theft of railroad equipment and 950 cases of trespassing on railroad property were filed, and up to 990 people were detained. “We successfully reclaimed 317 acres of priceless railway land from land speculators. The property has 129.8 acres of agricultural land, 19.18 acres of commercial land, and 168.7 acres total (residential). Similarly to that, 296 stores and 107 railroad quarters were also cleared of unlawful occupiers, according to the spokesman, who also noted that 167 cases had been filed against drug dealers. In this case, 167 suspects were taken into custody.

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