River Ravi Boulevard Project
Historically all cities were built near rivers. Rivers were the main sources of water supply and natural barriers & protection from the enemies. Indus Valley Civilization, Isfahan, Baghdad, Lahore, Delhi, Agra and many other cities were built near rivers. Famous Walled city of Lahore was built on eastern side of the River Ravi. Historic documents show the flow of River Ravi near Badshahi Mosque. With the passage of time, river Ravi has changed its course and now is about 1 km away from the Walled city of Lahore. Welled city of Lahore was intentionally built on eastern side of the River Ravi. All invaders in sub-continent came from Afghanistan. They always had to cross the River Ravi by bridge of boats. Therefore a city on the eastern side of the river Ravi was safe from the invaders. Three major empires ruled Lahore from 1524-1947. Mughal Emperors ruled the city of Lahore from 1524-1752. From 1764-1849 it was under Sikh Rule. From 1849-1947 Lahore city was under the rule of British Raj. During all these periods, city expanded on eastern side of the river Ravi. Lets discuss about River Ravi Boulevard Project.
River Ravi Boulevard Project
Things changed when Pakistan came into existence in 1947. Pakistan became friend with Afghanistan and enemy of India due to Kashmir dispute. During three wars with India, vulnerability of Lahore was evident. Also, Lahore airport was is not ideally located. Passengers from different part of Punjab face difficulties in approaching Lahore airport. Finally in the start of 21st century, when all areas on eastern side of Lahore were filled by housing developments till B.R.B Canal, government made plans to expand Lahore on western side of the River Ravi. Government decided to utilize both sides of the river Ravi for developments. Government named this project as River Ravi boulevard. The project has not yet started but this would be new city center, serving Lahore and other cities of Punjab like Gujranwala, Narowal, Sialkot, Sheikhupura, Garanwala, Maridke, etc.
Scale of River Ravi Boulevard Development and salient features
The project will run across the 36-kilometer stretch along both sides of the River Ravi. It will start from five kilometer downstream of Pakistan-India border and end at approximately two kilometer downstream at the confluence of Hudiara Drain and the Ravi. Govenment will re-develop the areas on both sides of the Ravi in different phases. The feasibility report of the project shows that government will also acquire land from Sheikhupura district. The total size of the areas to be re-developed is approximately 80000 acres. Government of Pakistan plans to develop business, technology, education and recreation parks over there. The area will have modern housing towers. Government also plans to build a new airport on Jaranwala road. That will benefit many cities like, Garanwala, Sheikhupura, Narowal, Sialkot, Gujranwala, etc.
Property market will pick-up due to huge development
This is the biggest project in the history of Pakistan. Many countries have great interest in this project. Turkey and China are willing to invest in River Ravi Boulevard. This project will attract huge direct foreign investments, which will result in creating jobs and economy will pick up. Whenever economy picks up, we see great surge in property market. When property market was in slump after the famous credit crunch of 2008, development of 40 km long northern loop of Lahore ring road boosted the real estate sector by attracting the investors. Pakistan emerged from the property slump and we saw revival in real estate sector. That was just the development of 40 km long road. But in River Ravi Boulevard, we need new airport, good roads links to different cities, modern bridges on the Ravi at different places, many buildings for schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, housing developments, offices, business centers, re-recreational parks, etc. These developments will boost the property market. The scale of the project is so huge that all parts of Pakistan will see of real estate boom.