Ravi is one of the famous and ancient rivers having a transboundary between Pakistan and India. It originates from Bara Bhangal, District Kangra in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. Ravi’s water is for India under the pact of Indus Water Treaty by the World Bank in 1960. A new project is on its way i.e. Ravi Riverfront project that is a masterplan for Lahore city.
Ravi’s view from India. A photo by R&R Photocraft.
Ravi’s main reason for the popularity is that it flows by the famous and historical city of living hearts, Lahore. Today, this river flows near Shahdara town in Lahore but once Ravi flowed along with the famous Badshahi Masjid and Lahore Fort.
A mesmerizing and beautiful view of Ravi in Lahore. A photo taken by Khawar Naqvi.
Shabby of Ravi
Once this river had beautiful sights and people loved to have picnics over here, but now the scenario has changed. Picnic spots are occupied by the shepherds and many drug addicts lodge there. The freshwater of the Ravi river is just a dream now. The water that flows in the river is the sewerage of many industries that have spoiled the natural beauty of the river.
Mismanagement has handicapped not only the river, but the city too. If you have an aerial view of Lahore, you will see chaos, pollution, mismanaged traffic, and many other things that had ruined the beauty of this city.
The underground water level has dangerously gone to a very low level. Environmental changes occurred rapidly over here. Newly built housing societies have occupied the Green Land in Lahore. There is no plan for building new societies.
The city is facing massive pollution which results in smog every year. Due to smog, many people face breathing disorders. To overcome all these issues, Govt has come with a solid master plan for Lahoris which will flourish them a new way of living. All these mishaps have led Ravi to “The Dying River”.
A picture of black water in Ravi illustrating the pollution and garbage thrown in the river. Picture taken by M Noor ul Hassan.
The beginning of new Lahore
The dying river of Lahore is going to enjoy a new way of lifestyle in just a few years. A new city is going to be built on the side of River Ravi. Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP) is a megaproject that will run along with the River Ravi in a northeast to southwest direction.
For the construction of project, about 100,000-acre is reserved. This land includes the rehabilitation of the water of River Ravi into long-lasting fresh water. According to estimates, this project will complete in three phases. Expectations are that the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP) is going to be the largest riverfront city in the world after its completion.
The proposed limits of the projects area. Figure taken from Govt. of Punjab.
A huge amount of Pakistani Rupees is dedicated to this project, which aims to rehabilitate the water of Ravi to freshwater and facilitate millions of inhabitants with high-quality urban development. 100,000-acre is a huge land from which 70% of the land is reserved for the plantation of 6 million trees that will bring a positive change in the environment of Lahore.
On August 7, 2020, the inauguration ceremony of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project took place. “The Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project will be the second city after Islamabad which is developing with a proper plan before building”, PM Khan said in the inauguration ceremony.
The launching ceremony of RRUDP on August 7, 2020.
He said that from the last few decades, Lahore has witnessed the irregular expansion of the city, mismanagement in waste disposal, clean drinking water, etc. He further added that the expansion of cities causes greater expenses on the government in providing electricity, gas, communication, etc.
Key features of Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project
Ravi Riverfront Development Project is going to be a game-changer for the inhabitants of Lahore. The key features of this master project are as follows:
- Nearly 70 percent of the land is reserved for tree plantation.
- A 33-km concrete channel on river Ravi will be developed.
- From Ravi siphon to Hudiara, a 46-km long lake will be constructed.
- Twelve new high-tech cities will be built.
- This urban project is aimed to build a green city along the banks of the Ravi river.
- The new Riverfront will divide into 14 zones that will comprise 1.4 million residential units.
- According to the International Standards River Ravi will be rehabilitated.
- New infrastructure including roads, piers, and bridges will be constructed.
- The new buildings will be built vertically up. It will end up consuming low space with high efficiency.
- RRUDP will have six water treatment plants.
- There will be 3 barrages with the capability to store 5,85,000 cusec water.
- With the completion of the new international airport, the riverfront will become a big tourist attraction.
- Investors from different fields of lives will come and more than 25,000 acres of land would be bought by the investors.
- This revolutionary megaproject will give a boost and provide a major breakthrough in the real estate sector.
A proposed picture of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project.
Positive Impacts of RRUDP
A heavy amount of nearly 5 trillion Pakistani rupees is funded for Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project. This much amount of money assures that this project has solid importance for the citizens of Lahore and is going to create huge positive impacts for Pakistani people.
Some of the positive impacts of RRUDP are:
- Increase job opportunities.
- More tourist attraction places.
- Improved quality of life.
- Save water and no danger of flood.
- A maintained way of living.
- Overseas Pakistanis can invest.
Mian Mehmood ur Rasheed, Minister for Housing, Urban Development, and Public Engineering said that this project will benefit the communities, invite the investors, and improve the environment of the city.
He further added that this project will be complete in three phases, and in the first phase, there would be a 46-km long lake, six water treatment plants, an urban forest, and three barrages in a short period of three years.
The water treatment plants will work for both; surface water and wastewater. The surface water treatment plant will purify the canal water after treatment and allow the people of Lahore to reduce their dependence on groundwater by 50%. The treatment plant will produce 2.4 billion liter water for drinking and this storage of water will come into use to irrigate 75,000 acres of land.
A new network of roads will be built along with 12 high-tech cities that include medical city, downtown, urban farms, miscellaneous use city, and residential city. There is also an innovation city that comprises 1,370 acres which will be built in the 2nd phase of the project.
A picture showing the proposed architecture of the master project on Ravi.
Knowledge city, sports city, and Eco-city will be developed in the third phase on a land area of 14,000 acres.
The economic activities will increase as 80 to 100 industries are linked with the real estate and construction industry. The RRUDP will generate huge economic activities and will surely result in a decrease in unemployment.
The Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project will surely relieve the burden of old Lahore and add improved living standards and facilities for Lahori people. It is carved out to fulfill the needs of people for the next 50 to 60 years.
This project has attained sheer importance for “Lahore’s Survival”. According to PM Imran Khan, Lahore’s environment has changed enormously. Pollution and unplanned expansion of the city have devastated the ecosystem of Lahore.
In 2023, Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project’s phase 1 is going to complete.