ISLAMABAD, NOV 21: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday vowed to take action against the land mafia and their facilitators, based on data that the government has gathered through digitisation of land records.
The premier had in September launched a cadastral map of Islamabad to curb land record tampering, ensure monitoring of construction through imagery and provide information about land ownership.
The Survey of Pakistan was assigned the task of cadastral mapping. In the first phase, digitisation of land revenue records of three major cities — Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad — and state land data of the country had to be done, which has now been completed.
The survey of state land was conducted on the lands of the Forest department, Railways, Civil Aviation Authority, National Highways and Evacuee Trust Property.
Quoting the “shocking” findings of the digital land survey, the premier said in a tweet that the total value of all encroached state land and those in the three major cities stood at approximately Rs5.5 trillion, while the value of encroached land in the three major cities stood at Rs2.63tr.
Similarly, according to the PM, the worth of encroached forest land stood at around Rs1.86tr. He said the encroachment on forest land had aggravated Pakistan’s existing lack of sufficient forest cover. The premier underlined that his government had faced “massive resistance”, just like in the case of electronic voting machines, when it began cadastral mapping of the country to digitise land records.
The prime minister said the results of phase-1 of the survey further revealed the causes for which the hue and cry were raised. It shows “phenomenal state land encroachment including of forest land through the connivance of land mafia and political elite,” he added.
At the time of launching the cadastral map for Islamabad in September, PM Imran had said that around Rs400 billion worth of land in the capital was either illegally occupied or lay un-utilised, while almost 1,000 acres of forest land was encroached upon.
He had said the cadastral mapping of three cities would be digitised by November this year, while the rest of the country would be covered in the six months after it.
The premier had regretted that the country’s system didn’t have the capacity to retrieve illegally occupied land from encroachers. He had also stressed the need to establish the rule of law, saying such a move would help attract investment from abroad.