KARACHI – Though the Sindh government has been carrying out strict action against the land mafia, at least 300 acres of industrial land are still in the clutches of land grabbers in Hyderabad, adversely affecting the industrialisation of the province’s second largest city, it has been learnt.

The realisation surfaced on Wednesday during a daylong tour of the Nooriabad Industrial Area and the Kotri Industrial Area, Hyderabad Industrial Area, and the Hala Industrial Area arranged for journalists by Sindh Commerce and Industries Minister Rauf Siddiqui.
The minister said his department would not allow the future of the province to be put at stake at any cost.

He said no land mafia, however powerful it might be, would be allowed to encroach upon state lands earmarked for industrialisation.

He admitted, however, that some 300 acres of industrial land are still under the control of the land mafia in Hyderabad.

Although the provincial revenue department has been claiming retrieving thousands of acres of land from the land mafia with the help of the law-enforcement agencies (LEAs), the operation remains limited to Karachi, and thousands of acres are still under the land mafia’s control in other districts.

The industries department is launching a strict action to retrieve encroached lands and letters have been written to the LEAs in this regard, said Siddiqui.

He said, “There are no outstanding dues of any utilities against the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate, but the industrial body owes a handsome amount to industrialists in pending dues. The amount recovered would be utilised for the development of the industrial estate from where the amount is recovered.”

The minister, along with the journalists, also visited the site from where water is supplied from the Keenjhar Lake to Nooriabad and announced that this important project would be completed by February 15.

He also visited the Kotri Effluent Treatment Plant and instructed the authorities concerned to ensure its completion as soon as possible.
Claiming that if the industrialists are provided with foolproof security, Siddiqui said the situation of Sindh would be different in the next five to 10 years with regard to huge investment, both local and international.