LAHORE: The government has specified the land use in the Rs30bn Ravi Industrial Estate on 1,239 acres in the phase-II of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development (RRUD) Project. The scheme includes rehabilitation of the existing industrial area in the phase-I, called the Ravi Industrial Zone, on 950 acres, Dawn has learnt.

According to documents available with Dawn, the total area (both of the existing industrial area and newly planned one) is 2,200 acres that includes 950 acres of the existing industrial zone developed in an unplanned manner on scattered pieces of land in the past. The area for the new industrial estate is 1,239 acres for which land-use of various natures has been specified by the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda)—the government’s entity executing the project.

Under the plan, the new estate would be developed on 691 acres, 55.84pc of the total land–1,239 acres. Of 691.89 acres, 592 and 99 acres fall within the district boundary of Lahore and Sheikhpura, respectively. For park and open spaces, 137 acres had been allocated while commercial areas would be developed on 3.88 acres. Apartment buildings, common facilities, a sports complex and roads would consume 45, 70, 21 and 267 acres, respectively. The common facilities consist of Rescue-1122, a truck terminal, retail shops, mosques, hospital, grid station, school/college etc.

The document reveals that the scheme would have road infrastructure on the pattern of gridiron road and linear road. The power source will be made available through a self-sufficient sustainable power grid station (solar power) with uninterrupted electricity supply. It would have a combined effluent wastewater treatment plant, transport system (Green Bus Transit System i.e. electric busses), separate bus lanes and stations throughout the industrial estates.

The industrial estate project objectives include integration of existing industries to control and discourage the irregular expansion, up-gradation of existing industrial area through provision of new roads and infrastructural facilities of water supply, sewerage and drainage system, maintaining uniformity in road width and vehicular movement by allocating minimum and maximum road widths, implementing building by-laws for existing industrial area, implementation of Environmental Laws to control smog and other types of pollution, guiding development through planning parameters, regularisation of existing industrial area through land use conversion fees, NOCs from relevant departments e.g., EPD etc, application of environmental control technologies and building regulations.

“The new estate will create economic space attracting domestic and foreign investment to the province. It will contribute to promote economic and social development in the project area, play a vital role in boosting goods and service supply with an aim to meet domestic and export demands and leave positive impacts on industrial development and restructuring in a modern, rational and effective way,” explains the document while discussing benefits of the scheme. “The establishment of the industrial estate will help to improve the environment of the Lahore city,” it adds.

The document clarifies the proposed project involved development of the scheme in Phase-II of the RRUD project which include the villages of Mari Par, Marl Mari and Rot Garh (administrative jurisdiction of Lahore and Sheikhupura). It states that before launch of the project, the consultation has been made with the local residents, land owners (farmers, tenants), business / shop owners, industrialists, labourers, environment department, wildlife and fisheries department, revenue, agriculture and forest departments.

It merits mention that the Rs5tr Ravi project, conceptualised in June 2013 by the then PML-N government reportedly,

was launched in August 2020 by the then Prime Minister Imran Khan by laying the foundation stone at the project site. In 2013, the then chief minister had constituted a steering committee for coordination, monitoring, oversight purposes and day-to-day decision making about the progress. Subsequently, the technical consultants launched a feasibility study, including pre-feasibility, strategic development plan, detailed feasibilities and designs and procurement documents, for the project and submitted it around eight years back.

Published in Dawn, January 22th, 2023

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