Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday was informed that the Chinese government and companies were keen to invest $ 3 billion in the Ravi City project in Lahore. The investment did not include any loan.
The Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP) is an approved urban development megaproject in Lahore District, Punjab, Pakistan, that runs along the Ravi River in a northeast to southwest direction.
It includes constructing a 40,000-hectare (100,000-acre) planned city and the rehabilitation of the Ravi River into a perennial freshwater body. The project is to be completed in three phases.
The project is expected to the largest riverfront in the world.
It is expected to be the largest riverfront in the world when finished. The project was inaugurated on 7 August 2020 by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan.
Besides, he was informed that ANGCC – a Global Investment Consortium, had also offered to invest $ 5 billion in the project on a partnership basis.
The prime minister, who was presiding over a meeting of the working group of Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Authority (RUDA) and Pakistan Islands Development Authority (PIDA), was told that further to speed up the progress on the Ravi City project, a board had been constituted and work on the project would start in January.
The 5 trillion Pakistani rupees project aims to rehabilitate and develop the Ravi River into a perennial freshwater body, with high-quality urban development on the adjoining land for about 35 million inhabitants.
The idea is based on the developments around River Thames in London, England. In August 2020, Mehmood-ur-Rasheed announced the riverfront development’s revised area to be 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) instead of 18,000 hectares. 70% of its area will be reserved for the plantation of 6 million trees.
A lake, an urban forest, three barrages, and six water treatment plants will be built in the first phase. Upper Chenab Canal and BRB canal will be used to provide water to the development if needed.
A modern city on the banks of the Ravi River, bordering Lahore on the north and the west sides, consisting of green belts, piers, and boardwalks, along with 1.4 million residential units, are part of the masterplan.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Special Assistant to the PM on Political Communication Dr. Shehbaz Gill, Naya Pakistan Housing Authority (NPHA) Chairman Lt Gen. ® Anwar Ali Haider, and Deputy Chairman Maj Gen ® Ameer Aslam Khan, and Pakistan Islands Development Authority Chairman Imran Ameen.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister Dr. Salman Shah, Special Assistant to the Punjab CM Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, RUDA Chairman Rashid Aziz, Punjab chief secretary, and senior officers concerned also attended the meeting through video link.
Pleased to host the newly appointed Chinese Ambassador H.E. Mr. Nong Rong at BOI today. Had a comprehensive discussion about #SEZs & mega-urban development projects of Ravi City & Bundle Island. Both sides agreed on further development of SEZs & collective efforts for their..1/3 pic.twitter.com/ftwixpAtel
— Atif Bokhari (@AtifRBokhari) December 7, 2020
The prime minister stressed that Ravi City, being an unprecedented and first of its kind mega project, would address Lahore’s increasing problems.
Its completion would provide the facilities of potable water, appropriate sewerage, clean environment, and modern housing to the citizens of Lahore and help create job opportunities and develop the local and national economy, particularly the industries, through huge foreign investment.
The prime minister informed about developments
The prime minister was told about Pakistan Islands Development Authority that the environmental and master plan studies would start in January.
Besides, he was told that in partnership with the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), a program was being formulated to ensure employment of fishers related to the Islands and protect maritime habitat.
While expressing his satisfaction over the progress made on the Bundle Islands, Imran Khan stressed that all stakeholders would be taken on board for the success of the project.
Prime Minister Imran Khan was told last week that the development work on the ambitious multi-billion-rupee Ravi Urban Development Project (RUDP) has started and is completed in phases.
The Prime Minister was informed of this in a meeting over which he presided. At the RUDP (Ravi Urban Development Project) meeting and the Karachi islands project, the prime minister expressed his pleasure that the Frontier Works Organisation and the National Logistics Cell had started development work on the RUDP.
In a separate meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on housing, construction, and development, the prime minister was told that the banks had almost achieved their quarterly targets of disbursement of house loans.
At the first meeting, some Chinese firms were also taking part in the RUDP in different joint ventures with local construction companies.
A senior official of the RUDP told Dawn that the project would provide housing and create jobs and restore the aquatic atmosphere in the Ravi River, which had almost dried for the last many years.
Huge retaining walls would be constructed on the river channel banks to accumulate rainwater and wastewater of Lahore city after filtering it through filtration plants.
The official said that the project would also help restore Lahore’s underground water table, which was dropping by three feet every year.
Speaking at the first meeting, the prime minister directed the authorities concerned to fix timelines for completing the RUDP in Lahore and Bundal and Buddo islands project in Karachi.
He stressed the need to promote the two projects so that people could know about their economic and climatic benefits. Both projects were vital given increasing housing demands, he added.
GVS News Desk