Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed the Punjab government to take legal action against the elements involved in encroachments and building illegal housing societies.

Presiding over a meeting on the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project and Central Business District (CBD) Lahore, the prime minister emphasised the use of environment-friendly material, including smart trees, blue roads and energy-efficient construction material, on these projects.

He was of the view that both the projects were important for the future of Lahore as well as the country, ordering that green urbanisation models be replicated in all cities to reduce pollution. Development projects helped improve socio-economic conditions of the common people, he remarked.

“Green urbanisation will help in reducing the adverse impact of pollution and these models should be replicated in other cities of the country,” he added.

The prime minister said development of green spaces in new plans and their preservation in the existing urban areas was necessary for mitigating the impact of pollution, including smog. He directed the authorities to expedite the process of land transfer for both the riverfront and business district projects.

The prime minister emphasised that urban development projects were being initiated to attract investments and should not be criticised and hindered for political reasons.

Earlier, the meeting was apprised that physical work on the two projects was under way in full swing and the land acquisition process was near completion. It was informed that Rs100 billion investment was expected for the CBD in the first year, and 1,900 low-cost housing units included in the master plan of the Ravi riverfront scheme.

The meeting was attended, among others, by federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the PM’s Adviser on Finance Shaukat Tarin, Special Assistant to the PM Dr Shahbaz Gill, Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority Chairman retired Lt Gen Anwar Ali Haider and the Punjab chief secretary.


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