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Commissioner constitutes task force to inquire into recent fire incidents

Karachi

May 14, 2019

Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani has constituted a four-member task force to look into the recent fire incidents in the city.

The task force comprises officials of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) chief fire officer and representatives of civil society, including technical experts.

Shallwani held a meeting of the board constituted for the prevention of fire incidents in the city, which often resulted in casualties, at his office on Monday. The meeting was attended by SBCA representative Sarfaraz Hussain, Nadeem Shaikh Advocate of Justice Helpline, KMC Chief Fire Officer Tehseen Siddiqui, civil defence officials, and representatives of K-Electric and civil society.

According to a statement issued by the Commissioner Office, the meeting approved setting up a task force, which would present its recommendations in four days. The commissioner forbade the SBCA to issue any completion certificate or NOC to any builder without proper inspection. He also directed the Board of Revenue not to register any structures without any NOC or completion certificate.

The meetings discussed in details the recent fire incidents in the city in which huge losses were incurred by the residents. Shallwani expressed his displeasure over the SBCA performance. He asked the authority to submit full details of prosecution against the builders who were defaulters and pursue the cases properly to save the lives of innocent people.

A progress report, according to the statement, would be forwarded to the Sindh chief secretary in the next meeting. The commissioner also sought details from the KMC chief fire officer about their manpower, training capacity and condition of fire tenders.

Shallwani advised the fire brigade to enhance its capacity on modern lines. He also reviewed the performance of the energy department and inquired about the office of electric inspector, which has not been functional since 2003. He asked the department’s representatives to submit a proper report in this regard so that a formal recommendation could be sent to the chief secretary.

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