Oct 16, 2009

Sindh: Govt To Retrieve Land Allotted Through Bogus Entries

Active ImageThe Sindh government has decided to retrieve thousands of acres of precious land, which had allegedly been usurped through bogus entries in the land record.

Below is an article published by The International News:

The “Cancellation of Bogus Entries of Government Land Bill-2009” was introduced on Thursday [15 October] before the Sindh Assembly by Law Minister Ayaz Soomro.

The proposed bill said that “massive bogus entries” relating to government land had been made in the “record-of-rights” and the Sindh government had been deprived of thousands of acres of valuable land. In order to cancel and recover this land, it was deemed imperative to enact a law. The bill said that these entries have been made on the basis of forged documents or in violation of the law.

The proposed law empowers the chief minister or the revenue secretary to cancel, without notice, any entry relating to government land in the record-of-rights, which was found to be bogus. After cancellation, the land will be reverted back to the government.

Manchar Lake pollution: The pollution at Manchar Lake can only be only controlled when work on the Right-Bank Outfall Drain (RBOD) is complete, and the MNV Drain is diverted, Environment Minister Shaikh Muhammad Afzal informed the Assembly during the question-hour on Thursday, which pertained to the environment department.

In response to a question from Arif Jatoi, the minister said that the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) conducted a study during 2004-05 about the quality of water in the lake. The study indicated that due to the pollution caused by the MNV Drain, there was increased quantity of heavy metals in the water, causing a decrease in biotic life in the lake.

“The water is also harmful for human consumption, because it causes cancer, respiratory diseases, dysentery and cholera,” Afzal said, adding that fish resources were depleting in the lake because of pollution and fishermen were compelled to migrate.

In response to another question from Jatoi, the environment minister said that the government was trying to improve the quality of air in Karachi by converting four-stroke rickshaws into CNG, reducing industrial pollution and implementing environmental laws.

He pointed out that in 2005, SUPARCO had conducted air quality testing at 26 different spots on five major corridors in Karachi, in which the quantity of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and suspended particulate matter was measured. The report indicated that the concentration of all parameters was higher than the prescribed limits.

Responding to a question from Saleem Khokhar, Afzal said that the basic responsibility to control industrial pollution lay with the management of the industrial unit itself. Besides, the organisation managing the industrial estate was expected to construct a “combined effluent treatment plant” in industrial areas. Sepa, however, has taken legal action against sugar mills, tanneries and cement factories, he said.

Responding to a question from Naheed Begum, the minister said that the government was planning to launch a public awareness campaign in the province about the impact of global warming and climate change.

In reply to a question from Heer Soho, he said that the Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) has launched an electrification project and a water supply scheme through “renewable energy” technologies in 100 remote, off-gird villages in Thar. Around 3,000 households in 49 villages of Thar have so far been catered to, and request for funding for the remaining villages has already been made. The programme depends on the availability of funds, for which the AEDB was seeking help from the government and donors, Afzal said.