Is Lahore really under threat from development?

LAHORE -- The session on 'Lahore under threat: from new development projects to old dilapidated neighbourhoods' became more of a courtroom drama when two ace lawyers, Rafay Alam and Faisal Naqvi, put up arguments against and for the real estate growth of Lahore at ThinkFest on Saturday.

Rafay Alam, an environmental lawyer, said Lahore's suburbs have turned into a haven for property dealers, thanks to the population explosion. With powerful government officials in command of all the utilities, private developers have continued to intrude on the land.

'From The Mall to Lake City, one can have a hassle-free, signal-free drive,' he said, citing an example of government resources being manipulated for elite housing schemes. 'We can see similar examples in Islamabad and Karachi as well; the Malir Highway is being built not to benefit the indigenous localities, but Bahria Town.'

He further said two-thirds of the Lahore population lived in one-third of the city, creating a class-based gulf. His arguments then turned towards the Ravi Urban Development Authority (Ruda), which he said was being built to rehabilitate River Ravi, but at the end of the day, it would only be beneficial for developers.

'Not the best use of land resources at all,' he said, handing over the mic to Faisal Naqvi, who was not impressed with Alam's 'anti-urbanisation' approach. He said Lahore was growing and urbanising, both with a generic population growth and influx of people.

'Unchecked (or checked) sprawl necessitates modern transportation and other basic needs,' he said, adding...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT