KARACHI: Sindh Minister for Forests and Wildlife Nasir Shah on Friday commended what he termed relentless efforts made by officials of the forest department that resulted in the inclusion of 421,000 acres of the revenue department’s land in the forest category.

Officials said the total land reserved for forest category had been increased from 600,000 acres to 1.021 million acres after the additional land was registered and entered in the land utilisation record in a short period of three months.

Mr Shah was presiding over a meeting to review the progress of the land utilisation record vis-à-vis forest department issues at the office of senior member Board of Revenue (SMBR).

Minister Shah said that from now onwards no such land would be allotted to anyone; and no right of ownership would be given to any individual.

The minister also directed the officials concerned that revenue and forest departments would jointly make efforts to protect approximately 2.5m acres which was being registered and entered into the official land record as protective forest land.

He said the data and record of the whole forest land was being digitalised and asked the authorities to ensure proper vigilance and monitoring to improve the functioning of the forest department on modern lines.

Mr Shah said that all the pending issues related to the forest department in the offices of the revenue department and commissioners should be disposed off without further delays in light of the Supreme Court directions. The issues of encroachment pertaining to forest department should also be sorted out and the land returned to the control of forest department, he added.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2020

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