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Over 20,000-acre govt lands retrieved from usurpers

AT-KABUL: The Justice Ministry says it has intensified efforts to return government lands grabbed by powerful people in the recent years. The ministry spokesman said Monday that 26,000 acres of the lands had been so far returned from the usurpers.

“Besides returning the lands, we also returned 36 shops, seven houses, one apartment building, 171 million Afs, one million dollars and 13,000 Euros from usurpers and robbers since March,” said the ministry spokesman, AmanReyazat.

He admitted that grabbing of government lands was a great challenge, but said that the ministry was working hard to stand against land usurpers and return government lands from them.

Reyazat added that more than 52,000 acres of government lands were returned recently in Balkh province.

The independent department of lands says that 1.5 million acres of government lands had been grabbed in the past 30 years, adding that 500,000 acres of them were returned in the past three years.

It said that 18,000 people were listed as land usurpers and their names were handed to the government.

But analysts say the government has not done enough for returning grabbed lands. AjmalHodman, an analyst said that the government knew usurpers of lands, but is unable to return the lands from them.

“We see that several townships have been built on the government lands that have been grabbed by powerful people. Also the usurpers have sold thousands of acres of landsto other people. The government is not in capability to return the lands,” Hodman said.

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