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ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary body on Friday expressed displeasure with Pakistan Postal Services for neglecting its properties that are now illegally occupied across the country.

Convener of the Senate Subcommittee on Postal Services Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi alleged that the department had been careless and irresponsible.

Senator Mushtaq Ahmed demanded legal action against both retired and serving officers who ignored encroachment on government properties.

Subcommittee expresses displeasure with dept for failing to protect its properties from encroachers

The subcommittee met to probe the illegal sale and unauthorised allotment and occupation of quarters and residences of the department, especially the Telegraphy Colony in Karachi.

It also suggested ways to get the encroached properties vacated.

The meeting was informed that the department was preparing a report about all its properties illegally occupied.

In Karachi, high-rises have been erected illegally on land owned by the department.

Similarly, since 2007 the Evacuee Trust Property Board has occupied properties of Pakistan Postal Services in Lahore.

The subcommittee observed with displeasure that the department had made no efforts to reclaim its properties.

About 530 quarters/residences are illegally occupied by retired government officials, mostly belonging to the department.

The members wondered why the department had waited a decade to take the matter to court in 2017.

“We can sense insincerity and dereliction of duty on part of officials of the Postal Services causing losses in billions to the exchequer,” said Senator Mushtaq Ahmad.

The meeting was also informed by the Postal Services that another 74 properties were also illegally occupied in Lahore and 15 quarters were demolished during the construction of the Orange Line without compensating the department.

The subcommittee demanded a copy of the agreement between the Postal Services and the Orange Line Authority in the next meeting.

Senator Ahmad believed that the Postal Services had lost more than Rs1,200 billion worth of its properties to illegal occupation.

“The department must reclaim its properties to overcome the losses amounting to Rs52 billion annually,” he added.

The subcommittee directed the department to seek relief from court and save the government from further losses.

Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2019