Following the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Punjab government has decided to revive an ambitious urban development scheme of previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, Ravi Riverfront Urban Development (RRUD) project.
The previous PML-N government failed to attract requisite investment for the project, as documents indicated that the project required over $7.5 billion in 2013.
The project was originally envisioned in 2013 by the Urban Unit, an urban sector planning arm of the provincial government, which is spread over 44,817 acres and will set a new centre of the city.
It will have 14 zones, including residential, commercial, mix-use zones, medical city, forest reserve and central business district.
The project is located in the districts of Lahore and Sheikhupura, run along the Ravi River in a northeast-southwest direction.
The documents highlighted that Lahore is the most urbanised and the most populated district compared to its neighbours ¬- Sheikhupura and Kasur districts. The built-up ratio to open land in Lahore is approximately 50%, whereas the cumulative built-up ratio in the remaining districts is less than 10%.
In this respect, the proposed project site is expected to bridge the gap between Lahore’s expansion towards the west and the district of Sheikhupura.
The documents highlighted that Lahore was a key commercial, financial, industrial and financial hub of the province, which is facing multiple challenges due to unplanned growth of the city, competing land uses, congestion and pollution.
A major problem, the documents indicated, was the loss of freshwater reserves such as Ravi River, where close to 1,800 cusecs of Lahore city’s untreated sewage is dumped daily.
In view of the city’s projected expansion towards the south and the west, in the long run, the government aims to carry out riverfront (and urban) development on both sides of the Ravi riverbank along a 33-kilometre long stretch that is contiguous to Lahore district’s northern and western boundaries.
The rehabilitation of River Ravi is the core theme of this project, requiring investment in a number of wastewater plants whilst requiring investment in River Training Works spanning over 33 KM to increase the river’s flow.
Proximity to an international airport and the presence of a medical city as a centre for medical export services will bring the project into international focus.
Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Vice Chairman S M Imran and LDA Director General Sumair Ahmad Syed will give briefing in Prime Minister Secretariat about the project on Thursday