Govt to approach SC on Ravi Urban project, says PM Imran

Govt to approach SC on Ravi Urban project, says PM Imran

Sheikhupura (Agencies): Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that the government would invoke the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (SC) after the Lahore High Court (LHC) nullified the Ravi Urban Development Project.

Speaking to newsmen during his visit to Rakh Jhok forest in Sheikhupura, the premier said that the case would be presented in a better manner to apprise the honourable court about the significance of the project in view of urban development and civic facilities.

“There was a misconception about the Ravi Urban project that it was a housing society. Instead, the grand project aimed at correcting the faults in the wake of unplanned construction of the city,” PM Imran said.

He highlighted the salient features of the project including plantation of 20 million trees as part of forestation, construction of barrages to up water table and filtration of sewerage.

“Rs 20 billion dollar project would provide employment and encourage foreign investment,” the premier said, adding that that already Rs1.5 billion had been received in this regard.

Imran Khan said wealth creation would help run 40 affiliated industries.

“We need to set up new cities in view of the growing population, otherwise we will not be able to provide civic facilities to people,” he said.

PM Imran said that that Lahore in near future could face similar civic problems like Karachi as result of unplanned urban development.

He regretted that the Sindh government did not allow construction at Bundal Island which was also a mega project in line with planned development of cities.

On January 25, the LHC declared the Development Project (RRUDP) as null and void.

Announcing the reserve verdict, the court declared the Section 4 of the Ravi Urban Development Authority (amendment) Ordinance 2021 unlawful and unconstitutional.

In the decision, Justice Shahid Karim of the LHC ruled that the schemes without a master plan are unlawful.

“The agricultural land could only be acquired by following the relevant law, the court ruled, adding that in this case, the 1894 law was violated.

The court said that master plan of the RUDA was prepared without consulting the local administration.

Earlier, the court the stopped the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) from acquiring more land for its flagship project till further orders as farmers challenged the Land Act of 1894.

The LHC remarked that since RRUDP's master plan is the basic document, all the schemes should be under the master plan.

Meanwhile, the court directed the authority to return the money it had acquired from the government within two months.

The petitions, filed by advocates Sheraz Zaka, Ahmad Rafay Alam and others on behalf of the farmers, challenged the mode and manner of the land acquisition proceedings undertaken by the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) for RRUDP.