LAHORE: The Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda) has launched work on the barrage design and river training (structural measures to improve a river and its banks) works by collecting necessary data, in collaboration with various departments.

“Construction of a barrage is very important part of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project as it will help us revive the river and minimise possibility of flood,” an official source told Dawn on Sunday.

He said the data collection activity was carried out jointly by the officials concerned of Ruda, Indus River System Authority (Irsa), irrigation department and National Engineering Service Pakistan (Nespak).

He said the teams, while collecting data, analysed water quality, flow, flood situation and head profiling. “The river training works will reduce the damage caused by floods, river flow etc.

Ruda has envisaged a project to rehabilitate the dying river Ravi and convert it into a perennial fresh water body with multiple social and environmental benefits. In Phase-I of the project, river training works have been launched for the first three kilometers of the river channel approximately, and six kilometers downstream Ravi Siphon on the right bank of the river.

The proposed embankment along the right bank of the river will also protect the area from flood threats and erosion. For this purpose, Ruda has engaged the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) to carry out the works. Currently, the ground leveling and grubbing work is in process, whereas field density tests are being carried out to ensure that the soil has the required compaction.

“State of the art equipment (ADCP) of international standards was used in this activity. Various parameters, including flood monitoring and flow measurement, suspended sediment, bed sediment load, water quality and bed profiling, were recorded,” the official said, adding that the collected data would be used for barrage design and river training works for mitigation of floods.

In August 2020, the then prime minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of the Ravi project. With construction of barrages and revival of the river, the project’s urban design consists of three phases -- Phase-I spreads over around 45,000 acres, Phase-II over around 34,000 acres and Phase-III 24,000 acres. The project envisages 12 cities in phases -- Medical City, Residential City, Government and Finance City, Innovation City, Knowledge City, Mix Use, Sports City, Tourism and Entertainment City, Eco City, Commercial City, Urban Farms and Downtown.

In November, last year, Ruda had also signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) worth USD 1.4 billion with various companies, including a Dubai-based firm, at Dubai Expo for the establishment of Echo City, Innovation City and other environment-friendly schemes of the project.

Under the MoU signed with a Dubai-based company, the firm agreed to invest $500 million.

The other MoUs signed, according to the Ruda, included construction of a theme park and promotion of tourist activities, besides establishment of an industrial zone. The industrial zone would be established over 600 acres.

MEGA PROJECTS: Minister for housing and urban development Mian Aslam Iqbal directed the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) to complete all mega projects in the metropolitan

as soon as possible, especially the Saggian road rehabilitation and extension scheme.

“Saggian project is very important in view of the easing public mobility at the city’s exit / entry point. Therefore, it must be completed on fast pace,” the minister told the LDA officers and others concerned during his visit to the major city projects, including Shahkam Chowk flyover, Sheranwala Gate flyover and Saggian projects.

During his visit to Saggian, the minister, who was accompanied by the housing department secretary Mian Shakeel, was told that the work on the Saggian road rehabilitation and extension (4.4km from Ravi bridge to Phool Mandi) is underway these days. He was further told that the project would be completed in October this year.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2022

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