Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a report on Ravi Urban Development Authority (RUDA) project, stating that authorities are forcibly evicting thousands of farmers near the city of Lahore for a massive infrastructure project.

The international organisation spoke to 14 farmers, who said they have been evicted or threatened with eviction since August 2020. According to them, not only have the authorities “harassed” them but have “criminally charged more than 100 farmers with resisting or refusing to hand over the land they occupied.”

The report noted that in 2022, the Supreme Court allowed the government to continue development only on the land it had already acquired and for which it had paid compensation.


Despite that farmers and activists alleged that the development authority has continued to seize land.

Although the project claimed that it will ease Lahore’s many problems including pollution, sewage, water, housing, and employment, the report said otherwise.

“Environmental groups have raised concerns that the project’s proposed changes to the flow of the Ravi River could significantly increase the risks of flooding. Pakistan’s Sindh province experienced catastrophic floods in mid-2022.”

In 2022, former Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi allocated 700 kanals of land for the construction of a journalists’ housing society in RUDA.

However, journalists openly criticised the government and refused to accept the offer.

In August 2020, then-Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the controversial real estate project.