ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways had leased up to 4,694 acres of its valuable land over the past four years to transform the department into a profitable entity by generating more revenue.
The leased land was located in seven divisions including Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi Multan and Sukkar, an official from the Ministry of Railways told APP.
He said the government is taking several steps to reclaim encroached land from land grabbers, including carrying out a detailed survey to identify encroached land occupied by individuals and government departments.
He said Pakistan Railways had also decided to speed up its ongoing anti-encroachment operation against land grabbers across the country to reclaim its land from different individuals, groups and business organizations, who were using it for residential purposes, commercial and agricultural for decades.
“The encroachment operation will be launched with the help of railway police and district administrations of relevant provincial governments,” he added.
The official said that First Information Reports (FIRs) are filed and cases are registered and sent to PR magistrates for speedy trial.
The issue regarding the illegal occupation and possession of Pakistan Railways lands by government departments and institutions has also been discussed with the relevant departments, he added.
The official said Pakistan Railways owned 167,690 acres of land across the country, including 90,326 acres in Punjab, 39,428 acres in Sindh, 28,228 acres in Balochistan and 9,708 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
To a question, he said, Pakistan Railways had initiated special Masters level courses in the railway engineering department in collaboration with the Pak-Austria Fachhochschule (PAFIST) Institute of Applied Sciences to build the capacity of its engineers and technical staff.
The special masters level courses were organized by the Pakistan Railways Training Academy Walton, Lahore. The special unit for training abroad has also been created in the Ministry of Railways.
“A policy of technology transfer and indigenization of railway rolling stock manufacturing at Pakistan Railways facilities is being pursued in closer collaboration with the People’s Republic of China,” he added.