Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated what is being termed as Pakistan's "first smart forest" in Sheikhupura's Rakh Jhok on Wednesday.
The land spreads over 24,000 kanals and 10 million trees will be planted here. Sensors and surveillance cameras installed in the forest will help people monitor the growth of the plants as well as receive alerts if someone tries to cut the trees.
Botanical gardens, bird sanctuary, river parks, orchards, and walking tracks will be built too.
This is a project of the Ravi Urban Development Authority, which is working on the construction of Ravi River city near Lahore. The development of the city has been opposed by many activists and environmentalists who have claimed that it is being built on fertile land. Hundreds of farmers have already been asked to leave the land after being given compensation which they say was less than the actual price of the land.
Speaking about the project, the PM said that projects only become successful after rulers become steadfast to execute them. People have tried to delay this project but that won't happen anymore. This project will solve all our problems, he claimed.
He said the project would install water treatment plants to ensure that sewerage water is treated and then dumpled. The Ravi city project will generate $40 billion for the country and create one million jobs.
"We want a better Pakistan for our future generations. We must decide to make our country green."
He shared that Lahore was very green while he was growing up. It used to be called the City of Gardens and the air was clear. "Now, we should be scared as pollution levels have surpassed all dangerous levels." Lahore's sewerage is being dumped into River Ravi and groundwater has been contaminated.
Imran Khan in Lahore
The PM is visiting Lahore for a day. He held a one-on-one meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and was briefed about the political and administrative situation of the province.
Later in the day, he will attend the Punjab Education Convention 2021. The convention will highlight the steps taken by the government for promoting quality education in the province.