Hydrology Expert Visits RUDA, The Largest Riverfront Project
As an hydrology expert, Dr. James is particularly interested in comprehending the RUDA as the world’s largest waterscape initiative.
Dr. James L. Wescoat, a landscape architect from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, and a delegation from LUMS met with CEO Imran Amin of RUDA, world’s largest riverfront project on Friday.
Dr. James L. Wescoat is well-known for his multidisciplinary research on climate risks in the Indus River Basin, water management, multilateral water treaties, the political economy of landscape change, the water-energy-food nexus, and Mughal era architecture in the Subcontinent.
As an academician, author, and hydrology expert, he is particularly interested in comprehending the RUDA as the world’s largest waterscape initiative.
Mohsin Atiq, Director of Hydrology, presented a comprehensive overview of the hydrological, ecological, and environmental aspects of the overall concept of the upcoming new river city.
Mr. Mohsin explained that the goal of RUDA is to revitalise, reintroduce, and reanimate the River Ravi with all of its lost biodiversity and connection to the people.
Dr. James inquired about channel migration, future barrages and their operational curves, the riparian ecosystem, algae blooms in standing water, flood plain management, and non-structural water management measures.
These concepts, according to Mohsin Atiq, are already ingrained in the RUDA masterplan. He emphatically stated that all concerns have been thoroughly researched and incorporated, and that technical tweaks and corrections are carried out on a regular basis by modelling and building various operational scenarios.
In addition, CEO Imran Amin commented that urban development is the second principle, the first being the resuscitation of the environment and ecology, which is why the RUDA Act and the 2016 Punjab Flood Plains Regulations are aimed at the same trajectory.
He stated that RUDA is the solution to Ravi’s socio-hydrology, with approximately 1 lac low-cost houses being built over time with RUDA’s own CSR funds. It is not going to be a wealthy city; it is going to be a city for all with the revival spirit of Lahore.
He also stated that a change will be brought about through the construction of a water treatment plant, waste disposal, and the planting of trees. The model for all developments and ecological innovations will be efficiency rather than technology alone.
Hydrology expert Dr. James, referring to the RUDA master plan, inquired about the flood management mechanism. The CEO demonstrated this by comparing the entire geomorphology of the RUDA area to the masterplan and remarking that, despite all of the studies and crystallization of plans, the masterplan remains adaptable to changes dictated by further scientific studies, laws governing nature, climate, or scenario modelling.
It is pertinent to note that number of RUDA officials attended this session and participated by giving their inputs wherever required.
Dr. James praised RUDA’s experts for their efforts in working on the smallest details through various studies. He expressed gratitude to CEO Imran Amin for giving him the opportunity to review the world’s largest riverfront project. He also provided technical expertise and guidance whenever it was requested.
Finally, CEO Imran Amin assured that all measures will be taken to ensure the success of this project, as no other option exists to protect Lahore from future water, environmental, and ecological threats.