Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the Ravi Urban Development Project is likely to generate $40 billion revenue besides improving environment.
Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the first ‘smart forest’ of the country on Wednesday, the prime minister said the project would improve environment and resolve financial problems not of Lahore, but the entire country.
He said the project would help clean the water of River Ravi as it would stop the seepage of sewage into the river. The clean Ravi, that flows through Sindh to the River Indus, would improve environment along its path, he added.
Prime Minister Imran said under the Ravi Urban project 10 million trees would be planted and three barrages would be built at the river.
He said water filtration plants would also be set up to provide potable water to the public.
He asked Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to ensure timely completion of the project.
The prime minister said water scarcity, deforestation and glacier melting were the biggest challenges for Pakistan as it was among ten most vulnerable countries facing climate threat.
Prime Minister Imran stressed on massive forestation to save the country from ill effects of climate change and make it worth living for the coming generations.
“If we want to hand over a green and clean Pakistan to our next generation, plantation is the foremost solution,” he added.
He regretted that Lahore, which was called the city of gardens, had been turned into a polluted city by cutting trees and unplanned development.
“Therefore, the Ravi project is not only important for Lahore but for the entire country,” he stressed.
Prime Minister Imran said that the growth of every plant would be monitored in collaboration with the tech giant, Huawei.
He said sensors would be installed to keep an eye on felling of trees and expressed the confidence that the project would be launched in other parts of the country.
He said that one billion trees had been planted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and added that the ongoing campaign of ten billion trees would make the country green.
Earlier, he planted a sapling in the forest, which is first of its kind having sensors and surveillance systems.
The Rakh Jhok Forest is a project of Ravi Urban Development Authority spread over 24,000 kanals of land.