PM Imran Khan finally orders for the historic and long awaited Lahore Expansion program
PM Imran Khan launched the River Ravi Urban Development Project (RRUDP) on 7 August, 2020. The 5 trillion Ravi City Project is expected to turn River Ravi into a fresh water body. The adjoining land area will accommodate around 35 million residents. A modern city will be built on the banks of Ravi on 40,000 hectares of land, 70% of its area will be reserved for the plantation of 6 million trees, which will be converted into an urban forest. A feasibility study was carried out by Meinhardt, an Asian Engineering company. According to it, the River Ravi Project will have 12 sectors, namely Medical City, Mix-Use, Residential, Urban Farms, Downtown, Commercial City, Innovation City, Financial City, Tourism, Central City, Knowledge City and Sports City.
The positive impact of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project are as follows:
- Economic upliftment of the project
- Improved quality of life
- More job opportunities
- Sustainable lifestyle
- Economic upliftment of the project
- Flood protection
The incumbent government of Pakistan is planning to resurrect an ambitious “new city” project in Punjab. The idea of an urban development spanning over 44,000 acres was initially suggested by the Punjab government back in 2013. According to the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project, a modern city will be developed on the banks of the Ravi river, consisting of green belts, piers and boardwalks, along with 1.4 million residential units. The idea was based on the developments lining River Thames in London, England.
In this blog, we will discuss more about the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and how it will help reduce unplanned urbanisation in Lahore.
Let’s get started.
MAJOR CHALLENGES OF THE “NEW CITY” PROJECT IN PUNJAB
The Ravi Riverfront Urban Development in Lahore is part of the proposed master plan for Lahore. World-renowned engineering company Meinhardt was hired by the government of Pakistan, in 2014, to run a feasibility study on River Ravi for the execution of the urban development project. In its report, the firm highlighted the problem areas of the project and gave some recommendations to Lahore Development Authority (LDA) for smooth development:
- The dumping of wastewater into River Ravi is another major challenge that needs to be addressed. Approximately, 65 cusecs to 584,000 cusecs of wastewater are directly poured into River Ravi
- Establishment of a new wastewater system
- It is important to address the environmental impact of the riverfront urban development project
- Rehabilitation of the Ravi River as per national and international standards
- Development of a green city and the creation of a bacteria-free water body is a big challenge for the project
- An engineering solution to annual flooding
- Getting water in River Ravi during the winter season is one of the biggest challenges to the launch of new city project in Punjab as the Marala-Ravi Link Canal is closed in winters
INCREASED URBANIZATION IN LAHORE
With increasing population comes an increase in housing demand. A study conducted by Urban Unit, a project management unit of the Planning and Development Department under the government of Punjab, found that Lahore is the most urbanized district of Punjab, in comparison to Sheikhupura and Kasur districts. The ratio of constructed land to open, vacant land in Lahore is approximately 50 percent. In other cities, the ratio of open land to constructed land is only 10 percent.
DETAILS OF RAVI RIVERFRONT URBAN DEVELOPMENT PROJECT
In view of the recent urbanization in Lahore, the government aims to establish a riverfront development in the city alongside River Ravi, stretching all the way to Sheikhupura district. A 33-km long stretch made of concrete would be developed on River Ravi, where a new city will be developed on the riverbanks. The salient features of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project are as follows:
- Development of a 33-km concrete channel on Ravi River
- This new city project in Punjab aims to establish a green city along the banks of River Ravi
- The new city project in Punjab will be divided into 14 zones, comprising 1.4 million residential units and a 70% area would be reserved just for trees
- New roads, piers and bridges covering 100 km will also be constructed
- More than 25,000 acres of land of the riverfront development would be bought by various investors for different businesse
- The new city project in Punjab will attract foreign tourists as the establishment of an international airport is also in the master plan. Close proximity to the airport will be a major lure for foreign tourists visiting the city
- The main purpose of the project is the rehabilitation of River Ravi via installation of wastewater plants
- The sprawling 44,000-acre new city project in Punjab is expected to be a major breakthrough in the real estate sector of the region