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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has leased out around 4,687 acres of its land during the last four years with the aim to transform the department into profitable entity by generating more revenue.

The leased-out land was located in seven divisions including Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Multan and Sukkur, an official of the Ministry of Railways told APP.

He said Pakistan Railways (PR) had also decided to accelerate its ongoing anti-encroachment operation against land grabbers across the country to recoup its land from different individuals, groups and even business organizations using it for residential, commercial and agriculture purposes for decades.

“The encroachment operation will be launched with the assistance of Railway Police and district administrations of the relevant provincial governments,” he added.

He said that the PR had retrieved over 500 acres precious land worth billions of rupees from illegal occupants under its anti-encroachment operation across the country.

The government was taking steps to retrieve encroached land, adding that a detailed survey was being carried out to identify the encroached land, illegally occupied by individuals or various government departments he said.

The official said that First Information Reports (FIRs) were being lodged and cases being registered and sent to PR Judicial Magistrates for expeditious trial.

The issue regarding illegal occupation and possession of the department’s land by government departments and institutions had also been taken up with the relevant departments, he added.

He said that the department owned 167,690 acres of land across the country, out of which 90,326 acres was in Punjab, 39,428 acres in Sindh, 28,228 acres in Balochistan and 9,708 acres in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

To a question, he said that PR had started special master level classes in railway engineering department in collaboration with Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences (PAFIST) to enhance the capacity of its engineers and technical staff.

The classes had been organized through the Pakistan Railways Training Academy Walton, Lahore. A special cell for foreign training had also been set up at the Ministry of Railways.

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