PM launches cadastral map to bang land grabbing mafias

By Uzma Zafar

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday launched the cadastral map of Islamabad to curb land record tampering, ensure monitoring of construction through imagery and provide information about land ownership.
According to the PTI, the cadastral mapping project was conceived under the vision of the prime minister to transform the old system into a modernized digital online system.
The Survey of Pakistan was assigned the task of cadastral mapping. In the first phase, digitisation of revenue records of three major cities, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, and state land data of the country will be done. Addressing the launching ceremony, the prime minister said the project would help people verify ownership of plots which was no less than a transformational initiative. He said the cadastral mapping of three cities would be digitalised by November this year, while the rest of the country would be covered six months after it.
The premier added there were big land grabbing groups in the country making huge money through the illegal practice. He underlined that around Rs400 billion worth of land in the capital was either illegally occupied or lay unutilised while almost 1,000 acres of forest land was encroached upon.
He emphasised that large scale encroachment on government lands needed to be freed. The premier regretted the country’s system didn’t have the capacity to retrieve illegally occupied land from encroachers. He stressed the need to establish the rule of law, saying such a move would help attract investment from abroad. PM Imran said most of the country’s problems could be resolved if overseas Pakistanis, who he said was the “country’s biggest asset”, were utilised effectively.
He said around half of the complaints of Pakistanis based overseas pertained to land grabbing. The prime minister said that the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was also introducing a system that would help users get information about projects with just a click, terming technology as the only tool that could defeat land grabbers.
Talking about climate change and its impacts on the country, the prime minister said his government was taking measures for a clean and green Pakistan. He also lamented the chopping of trees in Pakistan, saying the government was undertaking reforestation, adding that forest cover on Srinagar Highway had grown from 45 acres to 113 acres.