ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways has retrieved land worth Rs 4725.796 million from the illegal occupants during the last year in an operation against the land grabbers across the country. “The encroachment operation is launched with the assistance of railway police and district administration of the provincial government,” an official in the Ministry of Railways said. He said Pakistan Railways had retrieved over 502 acres of precious land worth billions of rupees from illegal occupants under its anti-encroachment operation across the country during the last three and half years. Giving details, the official said the department retrieved 258 acres of land in Punjab, 129 acres from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 97 acres from Sindh, and 18 acres from Balochistan. To a question, he said that more than 5,000 acres of Railways’ land was under encroachment in Sindh and currently in the use of different individuals, groups, and even business organizations. The official said Pakistan Railways possessed around 45,663 acres of land in its Karachi and Sukkur divisions and as many as 39,759 acres were in operational use. He said the government was taking several steps to retrieve encroached land from the land grabbers including a detailed survey was being carried out to identify the encroached land, occupied by the individuals and under illegal occupation of various government departments. The official said that First Information Reports (FIRs) were being lodged and cases were registered and sent to PR Judicial Magistrates for expeditious trial. The issue regarding illegal occupation and possession of Railways’ land by government departments and institutions has also been taken up with the concerned departments, he added. He said it was an ongoing campaign that would continue till the elimination and regularization of encroachments. The official said PR owned 167,690 acres of land across the country, of which 90,326-acre was in Punjab, 39,428-acre in Sindh, 28,228-acre in Balochistan, and 9,708-acre in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.