100,000 low-cost houses to be built near Ravi

Our Correspondent
Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

LAHORE: Ravi Urban Development Authority CEO Imran Amin has said around one lac low-cost houses would be built through RUDA’s own CSR funds.

The Landscape Architect from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, Dr James L Wescoat along with delegation from LUMS called on RUDA CEO Imran Amin on Friday.

Dr James L Wescoat is famous for his multidisciplinary study of climate risks in Indus River Basin, water management, multilateral water treaties, political economies of landscape change, water-energy food nexus and Mughal era architecture in Subcontinent.

Being an academician, author and expert on hydrology, he has shown keen interest in understanding the RUDA as the world’s largest waterscape initiative. Director Hydrology Mohsin Atiq gave a comprehensive presentation covering the complete ambit of hydrological, ecological and environmental aspect of the overall concept of the upcoming new city by the river.

River Ravi is now not part of Lahore’s sociology; therefore, Mohsin Atiq explained that aim of RUDA was to reintroduce and enliven the River Ravi with all of its lost biodiversity and connection to the people. Dr James asked questions about the channel migration, future barrages and their operational curves, the riparian ecosystem, algae bloom in standing water, flood plain management and non-structural measures for water management.

Mohsin Atiq explained these concepts were being already engrained in the RUDA masterplan. He categorically elaborated that all the concerns were pre-hand researched and incorporated, rather the technical tweaking and corrections are undergoing every now and then by modelling and building different operational scenarios.

CEO Imran Amin commented that urban development is the second principle, first is the resuscitation of environment and ecology, that is why, the RUDA Act and 2016 Punjab Flood Plains Regulations are aimed at same trajectory. He said RUDA is answer to the socio-hydrology of Ravi where over a period of time around one lac low-cost houses would be built through RUDA’s own CSR funds. It is not going to be city for the rich, it is going to be city for all with the revival spirit of Lahore.

He emphasised that through water treatment plant, waste disposal and planting forests, a change will be brought. The model for all the developments and ecological innovations will be based on efficiency rather than mere technology.

Dr James alluding about master plan of RUDA asked about the flood management mechanism. The CEO explained the same by juxtaposing with complete geomorphology of RUDA area as against the masterplan and commented that despite all the studies, crystallisation of plans, still the masterplan is flexible to the changes as dictated by further scientific studies, laws governing the nature, climate or scenario modelling. It is pertinent to note that number of RUDA officials attended this session and participated by giving their inputs wherever required.

Dr James appreciated the efforts put-in by RUDA’s experts by working at the minutest details through different studies. He thanked CEO Imran Amin for providing him this opportunity to have reviewed the world’s largest riverfront project. He also offered his technical expertise and guidance whenever it is solicited.

At the end, CEO Imran Amin assured that all measures will be taken to make this project a success as no other option has left to safe Lahore from its future water, environmental and ecological vows.