Ambitious scheme: Punjab envisions city on Ravi bank

Published: September 19, 2013
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Riverfront will have modern amenities with 70% area dedicated to trees. PHOTO: FILE

Riverfront will have modern amenities with 70% area dedicated to trees. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: 

The Punjab government has formed a plan to invite $10 billion foreign investment to develop the riverfront of Ravi on modern theme under a mega project sprawling over an area of 70,000 acres, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The project named Ravi River Development Front would be developed on the pattern of River Thames that runs through London, sources in Lahore’s city government said.

The Punjab government has invited expressions of interest from international consultancy firms for preparing technical study and feasibility during the last week, they added.

The project entails building a 36 kilometre long concrete channel for the Ravi River and developing a new city on its banks that would have green belts, parks and recreation areas. The one kilometre wide and 15 feet deep channel would be run from the siphon on BRB canal to Maraca area.

Expecting an inflow of foreign visitors, the planners have proposed to give the city a Mughal and classical Lahore aura, keep it weapon and crime free, build its own airport and allow restricted access via ring road on both sides, an official involved in the project said.

The riverfront will be dotted with modern piers, boardwalks and 70% area dedicated to trees to make it environment friendly.

The project would generate $1,500 to $2,000 billion worth of economic activity till its completion in three years, the official said.

Around 25,000 acres of riverfront would be sold to investors for business, cultural and lifestyle activities.

The city district government has issued notification to acquire land for the project and all sale and purchase, mutation on both sides of existing Ravi banks have been banned, he confirmed.

People living in localities having more than 40 houses would be relocated in nearby areas whereas others would be given compensation on market rate.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • JAM
    Sep 19, 2013 - 11:18AM

    great,,, waiting to see this on ground..

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  • thetruth
    Sep 19, 2013 - 11:54AM

    Deal with the pollution first. Most foreign investors wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole…

    “The project would generate $1,500 to $2,000 billion worth of economic activity till its completion in three years, the official said.”

    ??? 1.5-2 trillion usd LOL

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  • Realist
    Sep 19, 2013 - 12:14PM

    Just please get the opinion of geologists and environmental scientists to ensure it’s not in a high-risk flood area!

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  • Asif
    Sep 19, 2013 - 12:51PM

    “$1,500 to $2,000 billion worth of economic activity”

    You kidding right?

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  • Shams Khan
    Sep 19, 2013 - 1:16PM

    Our issue is bread & butter , we are already hand to mouth with dwindling jobs opportunities what this project will make the people homeless & jobless beside the most important aspect it will lay waste bread basket of lahore by turning agriculture productive area into waste land

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  • Ali
    Sep 19, 2013 - 2:46PM

    Hmmm what about the ecological effects of this. Our farm land is very fertile and needs to be protected for future generations. Instead of building sprawling park like estates for the rich we need to build up with more high rises to save space for our good agricultural land.

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  • Bob
    Sep 19, 2013 - 3:01PM

    @Shams Khan, have you ever been to this area? Please visit it! Its a pile of junk. Nothing grows there anyway. [look at Dubai … they have covered their sea with sand and sold it for billions of dollars to the world].

    Let me assure you one thing that these type of projects generate economic activity and bring bread on table for many. [It will boost industries such as cement, steel, bricks, labours, electricity equipment, sanitary fittings, tiles, paints, property dealers etc].

    It is responsibility of every government to come up with projects which will create jobs and make people self sufficient. Three As for the idea and lets see if it really benefits the people.

    PLEASE GROW UP & ACCEPT NEW THINGS FOR BETTER FUTURE.

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  • Sameer
    Sep 19, 2013 - 4:33PM

    [b]@Bob[/b]

    Its ridiculous to compare Lahore with Dubai as people don’t die on the streets of Dubai because of hunger, people don’t commit suicide in Dubai because they don’t have jobs, people don’t kill their kids in Dubai because they don’t feed them, and people don’t rape 5 year kids in Dubai because they know they won’t get caught and the list goes on.

    [b] Grow up and try to say things that make sense without supporting everything for the sake of it. [/b]

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  • Umar Kayani
    Sep 19, 2013 - 4:36PM

    As a UK citizen of Pakistani heritage I welcome ideas like this but as with most things in Pakistan it will most likely just end up an embarrassing cheap imitation of London and would impress the locals who have never been abroad but do absolutely nothing for foreign Pakistani’s who know and live with better facilities.

    An example is the Metrobus system, no matter how great it is it could never be an economic driver the way the London Underground is and the cost of Metrobus was definitely not worth the money spent on it. It has inefficiency and squandered money written all over it and i’m guessing this project will be more of the same. If us foreign Pakistani’s moved back we’d have a nice big national debt to tackle along with all the chronic problems the country has such as energy, terrorism, lack of justice, environmental issues etc etc.

    Foreign Pakistani’s like me would only come running back to Pakistan with everything we have if we just had half a chance of a decent life. We don’t ask for much!!! We just ask to get what we pay for.

    If we pay tolls we expect good roads and if we do move and our friends or family want to visit they have to pay PIA or Air Blue the same airfare that Emirates (a 5* Airline) charges to China (which is over double the flying time from London) and we expect at least a reasonable and reliable service in return for the extortionate fare.

    I can offer so many opinions on so many different things about making Pakistan attractive to foreigners as I’ve lived and worked in Pakistan and can fundamentally tell you that foreigners will only come to Pakistan when it feels like they are moving forward on to something better which I see no hope of happening in Pakistan any time soon.

    As for this project generating $2 Trillion Dollars in Economic activity I would strongly suggest that the government of Pakistan look at their figures again. The whole of the UK is worth $8 Trillion and I don’t see a project in Lahore generating a quarter of the UK’s wealth in 3 years.

    If you believe that then more fool you!

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  • Shams Khan
    Sep 19, 2013 - 4:44PM

    @Bob Its a pile of junk. Nothing grows there anyway. Surprising the area is hub for GUAVA,ILLICHI Laquat, beside fruit & Flowers very few areas having sweet ground water the world best rice originate from this area

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  • epic
    Sep 19, 2013 - 6:16PM

    Take it PTI trolls..

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  • bob
    Sep 19, 2013 - 6:20PM

    @ Sameer,
    a) people dont commit suicide, because they dont have jobs in dubai??.. I think they do actually, a lot of labourers treated very harshly…
    b) You’re not a citizen of Dubai, so stop acting like one. Its a place where you go to jail for a bounced check.. yet the government gets away with debt restructuring..

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  • Pakistani
    Sep 19, 2013 - 11:49PM

    I think it is $1,500 to $2,000 millions (not billions). TYPO

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  • Furqan
    Sep 19, 2013 - 11:50PM

    How about first providing lifesaving drugs to government hospitals, putting some 80% traffic signals in Lahore to work again and releasing wheat to market instead of letting it to rot in sheds?

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  • Mian Arif Sattar
    Sep 20, 2013 - 12:00AM

    @Umar Kayani:
    here r some fast facts for u regarding United Kingdom national debt

    As of Q1 2013 the national debt amounted to £1,377.4 billion, or 90.7% of total GDP.[1] The annual cost of servicing the public debt amounts to around £43bn, or roughly 3% of GDP. This is roughly the same size as the British defence budget. It is forecast to rise to 95.6% of total GDP in 2013, further rising to 98.7% of GDP in 2014 [1].
    Due to the Government’s significant budget deficit, the national debt is increasing by approximately £121 billion per annum, or around £2.3 billion each week.

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  • aun
    Sep 29, 2013 - 9:17PM

    @Bob:
    i live there MR.Bob it very fertile area i own land there..its my source of income

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  • hassan mujtaba
    Oct 15, 2013 - 5:48PM

    i m from this area. the land is very fertile , geological as well as such other surveys are needed as it is flooded area ,

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  • usman malik
    Oct 23, 2013 - 2:51PM

    Its gr8 idea but think 100 time before starting bcz i belongs saaaaaame area its fluded areaaa keeps in mindRecommend

  • umair
    Nov 3, 2013 - 12:58AM

    Beside all above ellegations and objections it is great idea of Punjab Govt. This is a multy purpose project and also esential for Lahore city and surrounding area.Only those peolpe dont like and opposing this project who have Land aqvirring by the Govt for this project coz they assume that Govt will give them a cheap price of their land but this is not true. Punjab Govt is going to pay market value price for all the aquiring area belongs to this project so dont worry and be happy and stop opposing this mega project.

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