LAHORE– Spokesman for Ravi Urban Development Authority SM Imran has said that the basic purpose of this project was the protection and up-gradation of environment. The project had been conceived for improving the endangered ecology of the river and stopping bio-degradation of the environment besides conserving water for meeting water and food requirements of future generations.
He said that no project could be initiated without carrying out Environment Impact Assessment (EIA). Prepared by the Singapore-based company Mine Heart, which had prepared the feasibility report of the project, the EIA report of Ravi Urban Development Project had already been there.
He told that the Environment Protection Department has already been requested to issue NOC for this project. The boundaries of the Ravi Urban Development Project were currently being demarcated. Once the boundaries are finalized, an environmental assessment report will be submitted for the area included in the project. There was no logic or justification in submitting a report without setting project boundaries, he added.
SM Imran told that more than six million saplings will be planted in the new city and 10,000 acres of land will be allocated for Forest Orchard. He said that there were two large forest Jhook Reserve Forest and Shahdara reserve forest in the project area of which 7,000 acres of land was still vacant. Eight to 10 thousand trees per acre will be planted on this land, he informed. Urban farms will be introduced to promote agriculture in this city, he added.
He said that the project would be executed in three phases. In the first phase, 28 feet high walls will be constructed on both sides of the river besides constructing three barrages. A 46 km long lake will be established where water will be saved from being wasted. This water would then be used for agriculture purposes. He said that the construction of this lake would improve the underground water level in Lahore. He further told that seven water treatment plants will be installed under this project which will daily treat 836 cusecs of sewage water and supply it to the river.
Referring to the recent orders issued by the Lahore High Court to stop work on the project, SM Imran said that the said petition was not about the Ravi Urban Development Project only but also was about the overall protection of the environment.
The court had ordered, “Since the process for grant of EIA is underway, it is directed that no work shall be commenced at the site by RUDA until the approvals are granted by the Environmental Protection Department regarding environment impact assessment of the said project.— PRESS RELEASE