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It is time for Ravi City
The new city aims to cater to the major concerns of overpopulation, traffic congestion, heavy pollution, water scarcity and flooding. Ravi Riverfront City will provide the people of Lahore a space where they can live life to the fullest and embrace a multitude of opportunities, while keeping the city’s rich culture and heritage alive
Prime Minister's Message
Today on the eve of launching RUDA website for Ravi city one of the biggest mega project we have launched in our history, I congratulate the nation and Lahoris. This shall save Lahore by stopping spread of unplanned urban sprawl, raise water level, revive river Ravi preventing it from becoming a sewerage nullah.
Development can never happen in isolation or in silos. It must be holistic and it must be all inclusive. It must preserve our environment and our resources for our coming generations.
Ravi City Project comes as a sigh of relief not only for the dwellers of Lahore but a promise of environmental sustainability and economic progress.
Ravi City, a game-changing futuristic project that will resurrect River Ravi and create unlimited social and economic opportunities for citizens of Punjab and Pakistan.
The largest venture and initiative of the present Government by recharging a dead river and develop a most modern habitat around it.
If Ravi City is being developed to address sprawl, is it not possible to control Lahore’s sprawl in more effective ways than building another city and contributing to sprawl directly? Lahore continues to expand outwards with new low-density residential developments which have high social, environmental and economic costs. Would it not be better to address this challenge head on by planning for higher densities in the city? .
Lahore is the Capital city of Punjab and the bedrock of business for the entire province. For years, migration from the outskirts of the province into Lahore has increased congestion, burdening the city’s infrastructure capabilities. Unfortunately, by way of only developing Lahore, our previous governments have ignored upscaling the other parts of Punjab, which is the reason people prefer moving to our metropolis for better opportunities. Lahore’s pace of population growth vs infrastructure development is expected to have adverse consequences in the coming years. The only way forward is through a “planned city” to eradicate Lahore’s upcoming urban challenges.
If Ravi City is being developed to provide low-carbon, pedestrian-friendly sustainable transport that will be less harmful to the environment, can we not adopt a similar approach in Lahore now? The number of public buses in Lahore has been falling, walkability and pedestrian infrastructure is fast disappearing, and public bodies continue to prioritise road and underpass construction for car-users..
According to the UNFCCC & UNSDG, Pakistan’s growing carbon footprint has been a cause of concern like many other developing countries that have been dependent for their growth through burning of fossil fuels. The continuous erosion of our planet has led these respective authorities to set country wise targets for the reduction of growing emissions. The aggressive targets set requires countries to significantly reduce their carbon emissions by 2030 or face economic fines/sanctions. For Pakistan, this would either lead to slowing down growth, additional economic challenges. Hence, moving to a sustainable model to achieve these targets is the only viable option.
If we want to improve air quality, forestation and the environment through the new city, can we explain why we have to do so through the destruction of existing agricultural land and ecological systems? .
Almost 2 decades ago, the Ravi River had around living 2000 organisms that were part of its marine life. Today, we only have around 147 which are expected to be extinct within the next 5 years. It is safe to say that lack of water will eventually lead to erosion of Agriculture by 2025. In fact, should the situation prevail as it is at the moment, the residents of Lahore would twist the taps in their home to find them dry by 2025. RUDA as an Authority is creating strategic alliances to empower farmers with modern farming techniques i.e., Hydroponics, Aquaponics, Vertical farming, Greenhouses. These models have globally proven successful and require almost 70% water, land and resources that are currently being absorbed by traditional farming methods. Additionally, these modern farming techniques have proven to eradicate wastage whereby increasing farm output significantly. In simple terms, modern farming can produce greater output faster with 20% of the resources consumed by traditional farming. RUDA will empower displaced farmers with these techniques to upscale them from their current lifestyle.
At the time when plans for sustainable transport were announced for Ravi City, the LDA announced the building of underpasses and tunnels on Mall Road. In May, the Lahore Commissioner’s office announced multiple new overhead and flyover projects. Are sustainable transport plans only applicable in one city and not the other? .
This is a question pertinent to our provincial government representatives. RUDA as an Authority can only speak on their behalf and its development plans for the future.
If we want to address the housing needs of a growing population, detailed plans should be shared with the public so that these can be better assessed. Can we also clarify why the project spokesperson has shared that only five to 10 percent of the constructed housing will be provided for low-income groups (under the Naya Pakistan Housing project)? .
Pakistan’s current housing market demand is at 700,000 homes per annum with a supply of only 350,000, with the gap widening every year. Pakistan’s total homeless population is at 8.5 million out of a population of 220 million people, which means 4% Pakistanis are homeless as of date. Providing the low-income subset with housing is imperative for the government and we believe allocating 10% at the Ravi City for this sector is sufficient to fulfill the needs of this sector. It is also important to note that other government led initiatives are allocating provisions for the low-income sector in other zones as well.
The majority of unmet demand for housing in Lahore stems from low- to lower-middle income groups, and this demand is likely to increase in the coming years. Why is the project prioritizing the needs of those without a need for housing — those who already have a wide range of options in Lahore — as compared to those who are unable to access the formal market? .
The Ravi City project is erroneously interpreted as a development only for the upper middle and higher classes of people. There are 12 zones with various types of developments that are expected to cater to all subsets of our society. This also includes the lower middle income segment.