According to Indian Railway Ministry’s statement, as on 31.03.2019, 4.78 lakh hectare land is available with Indian Railways.
Out of 4.78 lakh hectare land available with Indian Railways, approximately 821.46 hectare land (0.17%) is under encroachment, the Railways and Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal stated on 29th November in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.
The minister said that the Railways do not maintain market price of land as it is governed by various factors and keeps on fluctuating. Railways carry out regular surveys for identifying encroachments and take action for their removal.
If the encroachments are of temporary nature (soft encroachments) in the shape of jhuggies, jhopris and squatters, the same are removed in consultation with and the assistance of Railway Protection Force and local civil authorities, said the minister.
For old encroachments, where party is not amenable to persuasion, action is taken under Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorized Occupants) Act, 1971 (PPE Act, 1971), as amended from time to time, the ministry stated.
Actual eviction of unauthorized occupants is carried out with the assistance of State Government and police. The removal of encroachments is a continuous process, as a result of which in the years 2017-18 and 2018-19, 16.68 hectares and 24 hectares of land has been retrieved respectively, the ministry’s statement added.