ISLAMABAD   -  Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill has said River Ravi Development Project is Pakistan’s first Green City Project, which has been designed for environment protection of Lahore and will be helpful in addressing groundwater pollution, besides giving new life to River Ravi.

Addressing a joint press conference here on Thursday along with CEO River Ravi Development Project Imran Ameen and Vice Chairman Lahore Development Authority SM Imran, SAPM Shahbaz Gill said that River Ravi project will be a new city comprising 102,000 acres land where seven water treatment plants will be installed.  He said environmental cleanliness, provision of clean drinking water to the citizens of Lahore City are one of the top priorities of Prime Minister Imran Khan as it has been expanding un-planned since 40 years.

The SAPM said a knowledge city is also being included in the project and 11 universities, including three international institutions, have shown their interest to open campuses in the new city. He said this project will be completed with country’s own resources without involving any loan and will be an example of sustainability. He said this project is the first Green City project in the country and a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed with a joint consortium of Real Estate Investment Trust. He said that erstwhile regimes failed to start this mega project of River Ravi Development. He said that PTI government made numerical progress and development to design this project.

New city to have seven water treatment plants

Gill said that Prime Minister Imran khan has been taking keen interest in River Ravi Development Project and 70 meetings have been held on this very project. He added that Prime Minister Imran Khan was very keen to fullfil this project on account of its environment-friendly outlines.

He said that Lahore city following its expansion has been facing hazardous environment issues as major societies in the provincial capital are unplanned.

Refuting reumours about River Ravi Development Project, Gill said that bids for first phase of this development project has been completed and 13 major companies through transparent process got successful auctions.

He said that River Ravi Development Project will be completed in 29-phases and formal signatures will be signed on the consortium next week.

He added that River Ravi flows between Pakistan and India and India has developed dams on this river and used to inundate river with its choice; therefore three barrages will also be constructed on this river in view of the River Ravi Development Project.

Shahbaz Gill also added that unplanned and unapproved housing societies have been mushroomed in the River Ravi area and following this River Ravi Development Project, all these illegal housing societies will be contained.

He said there was need of 12 million new houses in the country and the government is making every possible effort to fulfill these needs. He also announced that Housing Project for journalists will also be started soon.