Panel to assess viability of Ruda, business district projects in Lahore
With the intention to assess the functionality and development of the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda) and the Lahore Central Business District Development Authority (LCBDDA), the government has formed a high-level committee led by the Planning and Development Board chairman.
As the two authorities are involved in executing the two mega projects, the basic objective behind reviewing these projects is to evaluate their viability, scope, and any intervention on the part of the government.
“Actually these two projects were launched during the PTI-led Punjab government tenure. Therefore, the sitting PML-N government wants to scrutinize them in depth to avert any problem in future since huge investments in various sectors of these projects are involved,” an official from the Punjab government informed the media.
As per a notification released by the government recently, the committee comprises 11 members including P & D Board chairman (convener), Board of Revenue member (consolidation), secretaries for law & parliamentary affairs, local government and community development, irrigation, housing, Lahore commissioner, urban development and public health engineering and environmental protection departments, LDA Director General, chief executive officer (urban unit) and CEO (Ruda/LCBDDA).
Moreover, the Ruda and LCBDDA CEO would be the secretary of the committee. After the detailed Terms of Reference (ToRs), the committee has been allocated to review the master plans of Ruda and LCBDDA and their compatibility with the master plan of LDA formulated for Lahore District.
It will also detect loopholes and weaknesses in the project’s designs, both on the structural/physical and financial side, and recommend possible measures for its resolution.
The committee is also responsible to review the site selection/suitability for land acquisition and land acquisition model with regard to launched/planned projects in the case of Ruda. It will analyze the financial models of Ruda and LCBDDA and their sustainability also.
The board will also need to evaluate the impact of both projects i.e. Ruda and LCBDDA on ancillary infrastructure requirements of Lahore City including traffic, energy, water, sewerage, environment, etc.
With regard to the LCBDDA, the board will also study the jurisdictional disputes and arrangements of land/cost sharing with the Walton cantonment board, Civil Aviation Authority, and Bab-e-Pakistan Foundation. “The committee shall submit its report along with way forward/recommendations on the above TORs to the chief secretary within three weeks,” the notification reads.