LAHORE, Nov 25: The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) plans to acquire around 30,000 acres worth Rs300 billion for the River Ravi Development Project, sources say.

Land acquisition will begin after a consultancy firm, yet to be hired, will work on the project feasibility report. This may take one year, officials say. The land will be acquired along the River Ravi at Shahdara and adjoining small towns and villages linking Lahore and Sheikhupura.

As the project falls in areas of both Lahore and Sheikhupura districts, Sheikhupura will be considered part of Lahore under the domain of the LDA that is being expanded and renamed as the Lahore Regional Development Authority, they say.

“The estimated cost of the scheme is Rs700 billion, of which Rs300 billion are to be spent on land and Rs150 billion on a water treatment plant along the bank of the River Ravi. The remaining amount will be spent on the infrastructure,” a senior LDA official, who wished not to be named, told Dawn. The official said the LDA would generate funds on its own.

“Local and foreign business groups will be invited to invest in the project,” the official added. He said the option to make the project as public limited company might be adopted to generate funds for the project.

The official said since the prime minister was keen in the launch of the project in a year or two, the LDA is likely to select a suitable consultant from among seven short-listed firms by next month’s end.

The official said the LDA had filled a few among many technical positions in order to monitor the consultant firm’s work and work on other LDA projects, mainly the LDA City at Ferozepur Road.

COMMITTEE: A High-Level Design Committee of the City District Government of Lahore approved building structure plans of nine commercial and residential buildings.

According to officials, the committee sought resubmission of two other buildings’ plans.