LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) has declared the Ravi Riverfort Urban Development Project (RRUDP) illegal and announced a verdict on the petitions against the project.
The petitions, filed by advocates Sheraz Zaka, Ahmad Rafay Alam and others on behalf of the farmers, challenged the Ravi Urban Development Authority's (RUDA) procedure for acquiring land for RRUDP.
The court also declared section 4 of the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 illegal and unconstitutional.
It said that the said section was contradictory to Article 144 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
The court remarked that "agricultural land can be acquired only if there is a proper legal framework for it but the land for RRUDP was acquired in violation of the Land Acquisition Act 1894".
The court said that Lahore and Sheikhupura failed to abide by the law in acquiring land.
Delivering the judgment, the Lahore High Court said that since the master plan of RRUDP is the basic document, all the schemes should be under the master plan as per law.
The court said that therefore any scheme without being included in the master plan is illegal.
The court directed the authority to repay the loan it took from the Punjab government for the project within two months.
Last year in September, Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of the Ravi Riverfront Urban Development project. The construction of a 46-kilometer long lake from Ravi Siphon to Hudiara, laying of complex network of roads and construction of 12 new high-tech cities is the hallmark of this project.