LAHORE: All current industrial units and residential colonies have been removed by the Punjab government from the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project land acquisition programme. The villages within the riverbed, however, would remain part of the strategy.
Following the orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the current industrial units were removed from the notified area for the Ravi Urban Development Project. These sectors will now continue to work as normal at their present positions and will not be moved for this initiative. “In addition, the residential areas that do not fall in the course of the river will also not be acquired,” S.M.
This was revealed by Imran, official spokesman for the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda), at a meeting with local industrialists on Saturday at Mehmood Booti, near Ring Road.
Flanked by Senior Member of the Revenue Board of Punjab Babar Hayat Tarar, Water Engineering Specialist Riaz Hussain of the Lahore Development Authority, Chairman of the Parks and Horticulture Authority Yasir Gilani, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Revenue) Abdul Rauf Mehr and others, Mr Imran, who is also vice chairman of the Lahore Development Authority, called on the PM’s industrialists.
The industrialists accepted the pro-people decision of the premier and praised the government for eliminating their worries regarding their firms. They have declared their support for the initiative, agreeing that no one would misrepresent or misinform them.
The Ruda spokesperson briefed the business owners and answered their questions about the plant. He told them that PM Khan had strictly ordered only an imminent amount of citizens to be dislocated. The settlements on 2,500 acres of land, he said, would therefore not be acquired for the scheme.
Over the past few decades, a significant number of settlements have also emerged in the flood-prone region of the Ravi river. Due to the release of floodwater by India at any moment, these settlements were in extreme danger. He clarified that the acquisition of those localities would then be a compulsion.
He named the project a full city spread over 120,000 acres that will be built over 30 years in three stages. In the first phase, in addition to building barrages at three sites, a 46-kilometer-long lake will be created by erecting 28-foot-high walls on both sides of the river.
In the scope of this scheme, seven water treatment plants will also be set up to handle 836 cusecs of water daily for supply to the lake. This lake will be used to store and conserve water from being diverted. It can then be used in an area of 340 kilometres along the river built by Mr Imran for irrigation
purposes. He said the lake’s creation would increase the quality of ground water in Lahore.
He also claimed that the proposal would be an environmentally sustainable city to grow six million saplings. “He added, “In addition, 10,000 acres of land would be saved to grow a forest and orchards.
The chairman of the River Ravi Business Owner Group, Inam Butt, said when contacted: “After the briefing, we feel there will be no problem with our industry.” But they seem to be ignorant of the land that will be acquired to connect the Ring Road and the Lahore-Sialkot motorway project. We introduced a piece of state property that could be used for that purpose.