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Town versus the state: Commissioner awaits report on the encroached land in Pindi

RAWALPINDI: Revenue authorities in Rawalpindi are yet to carry out the demarcation of land owned by Forest Department in Loi Bher and Takht Pari. The forest department had alleged that its land was being encroached upon by a private housing society.

The forest department filed an application with Rawalpindi commissioner in June for the demarcation of its land in the two localities.

According to the documents available with The Express Tribune, Rawalpindi commissioner formed four teams supervised by Rawalpindi chief conservator forests on June 23 to complete the demarcation and submit the final report by July 20.

Following the commissioner’s notification tehsildar-bandobast (revenue official) Rawalpindi on June 25 intimated the area residents, revenue officials and the chief executive of Bahria Town about carrying out the demarcation in the two areas.

Almost a month has passed since the deadline, but the report is yet to be filed. Commissioner Zahid Saeed said his office had yet to receive the demarcation report.

Bahria Town administration, on the other hand, maintains that city administration is trying to victimise the owner and the staff of the private housing society on the call of a Pakistan Muslim League-N’s Member of Parliament.

They say the Opposition Leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan is trying to harass and victimise Malik Riaz, the owner of the society, due to “personal and political reasons”.

The housing society has said that the limits of the forest land in Loi Bher and Takhat Pari have already been demarcated and the department had installed polls on the boundaries of its land. It also approached the Lahore High Court Rawalpindi bench in July.

However, the court dismissed Bahria Town’s petition to halt the demarcation process.

In a recent press conference in Islamabad, Nisar Ali Khan vowed that he would make every effort to retrieve any government land encroached by private housing societies in Rawalpindi.

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