3,214 acres of railway land under illegal occupation: Minister

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Dhaka, Nov 16: Some 3214 acres of land of Bangladesh Railway are now under the clutches of land grabbers across the country, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan told Parliament on Tuesday.

“The amount of unused (fallen) land of Bangladesh Railways is 10,843.15 acres and 3,213.78 acres of land remain under illegal occupation,” he said replying to a written question from BNP MP Aminul Islam (Chapainawabganj-2).

Of the illegally occupied land, the highest 620 acres are in Rajshahi district, 321 acres in Rajbari, 282 acres in Sirajganj, 280 acres in Bagerhat, 210 acres  in Kurigram, 183 acres in Chattogram, 154 acres in Faridpur, 143 acres in Pabna, 128 acres in Gaibandha, 113 acres in Nilphamari, 106 acres in Lalmonirhat, 103 in Jhenaidah and 56 acres in Kushtia.

The amount of illegally occupied land is less than 50 acres in other districts, according to the statistics placed by the Minister in the House.

Responding to a starred question from Jatiya Party MP Shameem Haider Patwary (Gaibandha-1), the Railways Minister said drives are being conducted to recover the  grabbed railway land.

In reply to a written question from Awami League MP Didarul Alam (Chattogram-4), the Railways Minister said the government will collect 400 more modern coaches –-200 broad-gauge and 200 meter-gauge—for Bangladesh Railways within the next two years with the fund of European Investment Bank and the Tenders Financing.

He said a project is underway now to collect 150 meter-gauge and 100 broad-gauge passenger coaches from South Korean and China respectively.