LAHORE, Jan 25,2022- The Lahore High Court, while ruling on the petitions against the Ravi Urban Development Project, declared the project as illegal.
The apex court granted the petitions against the Ravi Urban project and also declared section 4 of the RUDA Amendment Ordinance illegal and unconstitutional.
The Lahore High Court has said in its order that the master plan of Ravi Urban Development Project is the basic document. Under the law, all schemes are subject to the master plan.
The court ruled that any scheme devised without a master plan was illegal and that section 4 of the Rhoda Amendment Ordinance contradicted Article 144A of the Constitution.
In its order, the Lahore High Court has said that the Rhoda Amendment Ordinance has failed to meet the requirements of the Constitution, which is unconstitutional and illegal.
The court in its order also said that agricultural land can be taken only if there is a regular legal framework.
In September, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the Ravi River Urban Development Project will be a masterpiece project for Lahore residents and overseas Pakistanis. Prime Minister had said that the government sector has given impetus to the construction sector. Imran Khan also appreciated the interest of foreign investment companies in the project.
Ravi River Urban Development Project includes the construction of a 40,000-hectare (100,000-acre) planned city and the rehabilitation of the Ravi River into a perennial freshwater body. The project is to be completed in three phases. It is expected to be the largest riverfront of the world when finished. Reports said as of January 2021, it had attracted US$8 billion in foreign investment.
The Ravi Riverfront development has faced criticism that it is leading to “rampant land grabs” which may displace thousands of farmers. There are accusations that the government is expropriating the land for the benefit of commercial developers, at below the fair value, and a Lahore High Court ruling has found “gross irregularities” in the development process. Further there are concerns of the environmental impact of the development.