Karachi: The Supreme Court has expressed concerns over the dismal state of forest land in Sindh, a news source reported. The apex court was informed that at least 70,000 acres of land had been leased out illegally.
Hearing a case regarding deforestation in Karachi, a three-judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, questioned the provincial government about its policy on the issue.
The petitioner Qazi Athar maintained that former chief minister Qaim Ali Shah did not get a satellite survey of the land conducted, despite standing Sindh High Court orders.
The bench, while directing the parties concerned to present their reports on January 7, fixed the case for hearing on January 9.
Incumbent Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had in November said that a massive 149,235 acres of forest land continues to remain illegally occupied since the last five years.
Dadu district tops the list of illegally occupied forest lands with 27,566 acres. Benazirabad comes in a close second, with 24,161 acres of forest land still under the charge of land grabbers.
Moreover, 23,715 acres have been occupied in Sukkur, 19,271 acres in Hyderabad, 12,238 acres in Larkana, 17,477 acres in Khairpur, and 7,879 acres in Kandhkot.