LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that indiscriminate action against land grabbers will continue till every inch of the state lands is recovered from squatters.
During a press conference at his office on Wednesday, the CM gave the details and said around 155000 acres of the state lands, having a value of Rs450 billion, have been retrieved in different parts of the province.
It is the largest operation in the history of the province and the task will be brought to its logical end, he indicated.
During the last seven days, 12318 acres of the state lands worth Rs22.32 billion have been recovered from illegal occupants in 31 districts of the province and 403 FIRs have been registered, besides the arrest of 97 accused, he added.
The CM pointed out that indiscriminate action is also underway against sugar and price-hike mafias. The PTI-led government is actively working to curb every sort of mafia and public interest is being fully protected under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Buzdar said lands have been retrieved in Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Rawalpindi, Rajanpur, DG Khan, Multan, Narowal and other cities and the recovered state lands will be utilised for public welfare purposes.
The government will also recover damages from the influential persons involved in illegal occupation of the state lands, he said, adding that the action is not person or party specific but it is indiscriminate and it will continue.
The CM said it is intolerable to occupy the state lands for personal use as the government wants to protect the state lands and the political affiliation of land grabbers is simply irrelevant.
The CM disclosed that a strategy has been devised for the best use of the recovered lands while the data bank will also be set up in the board of revenue and steps will be taken so that no one could dare to reoccupy such lands.
The PTI government has waged a war against every sort of mafia and the damages incurred to the state due to land grabbers will be compensated, he disclosed.
While replying to the questions of the media persons, the chief minister said the anti-corruption establishment takes action if a government employee is found involved in the occupation any state land but the government has started indiscriminate action without caring for any political affiliation.
Indiscriminate action will be continued against all even if any land grabber is found as my relative or an office-bearer of his party, the CM emphasised and added that the government is active against the land grabbers.
To another question, Buzdar clarified that no ban is imposed on any private transport, but a restriction is imposed on public transport to overcome the spread of coronavirus. Steps have been taken against coronavirus and the government does not want to hold complete lockdown but to overcome the spread of the virus, he maintained, adding that businesses have not been shut down but the timings of markets have been reduced to minimize the spread of coronavirus.
He further clarified that the purpose of government is not to put the people behind bars but to sensitize them to wear masks for collective safety.
The CM said the coronavirus vaccine is being supplied by the federal government but the Punjab government has also constituted a committee to procure this vaccine and the committee will submit its final recommendations.
He asserted that the coronavirus SOPs will be implemented in the Ramadan bazaars while a collective decision about Namaz-e-Taraweeh will be made in consultation with the NCOC.
Replying to a question about a cabinet reshuffle, the CM maintained space for improvement is always there and the ministers’ performances are also regularly reviewed. He made it clear that the rumours about the South Punjab secretariat are totally baseless, adding that the opponents are spreading disinformation in this regard.
“I do not know who is perturbed over my field visits but I do know that a new era of development has been started. A separate district development package is being outlined for the first time and development schemes are being designed in consultation with the public representatives. This development package will be a part of the next budget and the due share of the districts will be given to them without caring for any likeness or antipathy,” he said.
Buzdar emphasised that no area will remain deprived of development as every district will be given its due share. “Some naive friends falsely claim that Punjab is in reverse gear because they could not witness the development process around them. State lands worth Rs450 billion have been recovered while work on 13 special economic zones is in progress. Similarly, 12 new hospitals are being established after 1997 and a plan has also been devised to establish a university in every district,” the CM concluded.
Special Assistant to Chief Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, inspector general of Punjab police, secretary information and some other senior officials were also present on the occasion