‘Cadastral mapping’: The Prime Minister pledges to reclaim ‘encroached land worth trillions.’ Prime Minister Imran Khan has committed to action against land grabbers and their collaborators following the first phase of state land cadastral mapping.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran stated on Twitter that his government encountered massive opposition when it began cadastral mapping of Pakistan to digitalize land records, comparing the situation to “protests against EVMs [electronic voting machines].”
“The outcome of Phase 1 of state lands demonstrates why resistance is necessary: extraordinary state land expansion, especially of forest land, with land mafia-political elite collusion,” he said.
The Prime Minister released the survey’s documents on the microblogging site, stating that the total worth of encroached land is estimated to be Rs5,595 billion.
“Encroached forest land is estimated to be worth Rs1869 billion. This has exacerbated Pakistan’s pre-existing deficiency of forest cover,” he noted. With this precise digital record in hand, the premier stated that the government will now pursue “these land mafias and their facilitators.” His declaration comes after Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam presented digitized cadastral maps of state lands earlier today and said that the premier would share the data with provinces to pursue land-grabbers encroaching on many of these lands.
Addressing the media in Islamabad, the SAPM released the latest cadastre maps of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan generated by the Survey of Pakistan. However, those of Sindh were still being worked on due to information delays from the authorities.
Amin stated that the prime minister initiated the cadastral mapping process one and a half years ago to fulfill his pledge to take drastic and impartial action against land encroachers.
Additionally, read: The Prime Minister requests that provinces complete cadastral mapping within two months.
Read more with EL news : PM Imran has instructed provinces to verify land records within two months
“These maps accurately depict every inch of state territory and the area that has been encroached upon, as well as the associated dates,” he added.
According to the SAPM, cadastral mapping of around 50,000 square kilometers has been completed in the four federating units of Punjab, K-P, Baluchistan, and Sindh.
He said that approximately 160,000 acres of public or state land worth Rs500 billion had been encroached upon in Punjab and K-P. He added that a total of 30,000 square kilometers of forest land was also mapped as part of the digitized cadastral mapping, of which 700,000 acres were intruded by the land-grabbing mafia.
Amin emphasized that Sindh had the most significant number of encroached state lands, but its cadastre map was in the works due to a delay in data sharing.
According to one of the finished digital cadastre maps, 71% (10,970 acres) of forest land in District Benazir Abad, Sindh was infringed upon, out of a total of 15,450 acres. Takhtpari Forest in Rawalpindi had 2,210 acres, of which 755 acres, or over 34%, was infringed upon.
However, the Lohi Behr Forest region, which lies on the boundary between Rawalpindi and Islamabad, has crept on over 57% (629 acres) of its general area, 1,089 acres. The Karachi Forest Division, now dubbed ‘a concrete jungle,’ once had a forest area of 2,703 square kilometers, which was reduced to just 0.4 percent by land grabbers.
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