Ravi Urban Development Project to Protect Environment: Spokesman

LAHORE, Jan 06 (APP): The basic purpose of launching the Ravi Urban Development project is protection and up-gradation of environment in the region.

This was stated by a spokesman for the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) SM Imran in a statement on Wednesday. He said 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 the future generations.

He said that no project could be initiated without carrying out the environment impact assessment (EIA). The spokesman said that the Environment Protection Department had already been requested to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the project. The boundaries of the Ravi Urban Development Project were currently being demarcated. Once the boundaries were finalised, an environmental assessment report would be submitted on the area included in the project. There is no logic or justification in submitting a report without setting project boundaries, he added.

SM Imran said that more than six million saplings would be planted in the new city and 10,000 acres of land would be allocated for the forest orchard. He said that there were two large forests — Jhook Reserve Forest and Shahdara Reserve Forest — under the project area, of which 7,000 acres of land was still lying vacant. About 8,000 to 10,000 trees per acre would be planted on this land, he said and added that urban farms would be introduced to promote agriculture in the city. He said that the project would be executed in three phases.

In the first phase, 28 feet high walls would be constructed on both sides of the river besides constructing three barrages. A 46-km long lake would be established where water would be saved from being wasted. He said that the construction of the lake would improve the underground water level in Lahore, adding that seven water treatment plants would be installed under this project, which could 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 environment.

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