LAHORE: The Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda) is all set to launch development work in the existing industrial area and the adjacent land falling within territorial jurisdiction of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project (RRUDP).

In the first phase, the existing industrial area — the Ravi Industrial Zone — will be gated besides having signage on location, names of roads / streets, nature of industry etc. In the next phase, the development work (laying of sewerage pipes, water supply lines and other infrastructure) will be launched.

Similarly, the development work at the land, adjacent to the existing industrial area, allocated for a state-of-the-art Ravi Industrial Estate will be launched. “The total industrial area of the Ravi project consists of around 7,300 acres. Out of this, the existing industrial area consists of 2,500 acres or so whereas Ruda plans to develop a modern industrial estate at the remaining land measuring 4,800 acres,” Inam Butt, Ravi Industrial Estate Association chairman, told Dawn on Saturday.

“At the existing zone comprising 2,500 acres, as many as 1,000 small and medium industrial units (steel, plastic, auto parts and export item manufacturing units) are being run for long,” he added. He said that at a meeting held with the Ruda management in the project area, CEO Imran Ameen told the business community that the existing Ravi industrial zone would be regulated by the authority to resolve all issues being faced by the factory owners.

Talking about the fee, development charges etc to be paid by the factory owners to the government for getting their premises regularised, Mr Butt said the Ravi industrial zone factory owners had been asked to pay Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 as enlistment fee / member fee of the industrial zone for their business points measuring up to five kanal and above, respectively. Similarly, the owners would also pay Rs500,000 per kanal as development charges liable to be paid within five years and Rs30,000 (each) as processing charges for map approval by the respective authorities.

The Punjab government had earlier in August started working out the charges / rates for the land use conversion in the existing industrial zone in the project area. The Board of Revenue (BoR) had been assigned the task but it is yet to do so.

According to Ravi Industrial Estate Association Vice Chairman Mian Kamran, since the status of 2,500 acres where the industrial units exist is mentioned as agriculture in the revenue record, Ruda plans to change category / nature of this land to commercial or industrial as no agricultural activity is taking place in the existing industrial zone. He said the association had also urged Ruda to impose land use conversion charges according to DC rate of agricultural land. But its request was not entertained.

Ruda forwarded the matter to BoR, the province’s apex revenue and relief authority, to work out the charges for the land use conversion in the industrial zone. He said the Ravi industrial zone previously was never considered to be a regulated industry in Lahore.

However, after launch of the Ravi project, the government first decided to shift this zone to another place over which the association launched protest demonstrations, forcing the government to change its decision subject to some conditions.

He said Ruda, initially, also tried to convince the association of paying 20pc of the total value (DC rates) of the land as land use conversion charges. But later it was decided to better go for a new formula for the land use conversion fee to be worked out by the BoR. “However, the matter related to this issue is still pending. But the other issues related to development charges, processing fee etc have been resolved,” Mr Kamran told Dawn.

He said that within next couple of weeks, the entry / gates for the existing Ravi industrial zone would be fixed, followed by signage, sewerage and other works to be carried out after this.

CBD: The Punjab Central Business District Development Authority said on Saturday that excavation for guide beams of 365 meters long CBD Punjab Boulevard (Kalma Chowk Remodeling Project) was in progress and would be completed soon.

“The concrete pouring for retaining walls of the parking plaza is also under process. Moreover, water, sewerage and telecommunication authorities have also started shifting cables and pipelines on Ali Zaib Road,” Executive Director (Technical) Riaz Hussain told CEO Imran Amin and other senior officials in a briefing at the site on Saturday.

He said the technical directorate of the PCBDDA had ensured that an ample amount of high-quality necessary material was available on site for smooth execution of the project.

PCBDDA CEO Imran Amin directed the technical staff and contractor to expedite the work and use all the available resources for the timely completion of the project.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2022

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