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LAHORE: To address the Lahore perennial problem of contaminated water pouring into River Ravi through 12 drains, the Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) has decided to collaborate with an American company for setting up wastewater treatment plants around the river.

The plant will treat 1100 cusecs of contaminated water daily and thereby eventually revive the aqua life in the river. In this connection, RUDA CEO Imran Amin met Bio Cleaner CEO Eros Kaw on Wednesday to discuss the procedures for the wastewater treatment plant. RUDA Executive Director Commercial Kashif Qureshi, Executive Director Engineering Abdul Waheed Khan and Executive Director Smart Cities Usman Ahmed were also present.

During the meeting, the CEO of the company gave Imran Amin an overview of the project’s numerous benefits and described how the impure water will be made clean and drinkable.

As per details shared by RUDA, the water plant, which will be situated beside the river in the RUDA area, will incorporate world-class technology. More than 1100 cusecs of contaminated water will be pumped out into the river each day from wastewater treatment plants, which will be located at several locations along the Ravi River, including Mahmud Booti, Shadbagh and Shahdarah. These projects will cost a total of Rs 80 billion. This eco-friendly project of the American company will promote tourism, boating and fishing businesses in Ravi city.

It may be mentioned that the current state of River Ravi is attributed to significant human and industrial waste, rapid urbanisation, high industrialisation and lack of wastewater treatment, which combined, have caused large amounts of wastewater and toxic effluents to flow directly from urban areas like Lahore, Sheikhupura and Faisalabad into the River Ravi.

As per a report of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), ‘Pakistan: Revitalising the Ecosystem of Ravi River Basin’, 50 million people live in the Ravi Basin in Pakistan, which encompasses the cities of Lahore, Faisalabad, and about 70 other urban districts. “The river provides critical ecosystem services that support Punjab’s economy. Almost 75 percent of the basin is used for agriculture, and the river irrigates 2.9 million hectares of agricultural lands that account for about 30 percent of Pakistan’s agricultural cultivation. The river once hosted at least 31 fish species among other wildlife that offered livelihoods for Punjab’s rural poor,” it added.

However, it said, since the 1990s, it has become heavily polluted. “Punjab’s cities, industries, and agriculture areas have developed without the effective infrastructure to control their discharges of polluted water, and without effective regulations to reduce the pollution at source. Biological oxygen demand, heavy metals, and Escherichia coli levels of the river routinely exceed international standards for public health, ecology, and agriculture,” the report observed.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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