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January 14, 2020

382 unsafe buildings still in old areas of city, chief secretary told

Karachi

January 14, 2020

The Sindh government has decided to establish a separate authority to develop a master plan for the urban areas and other regions in the province and a draft bill is being finalised for the purpose.

The information to this effect was passed on to the participants of a meeting on Monday held on the Karachi Master Plan with Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah in chair.

The proposed entity, for which a bill is being finalised, will be named Sindh Urban and Regional Master Plan Authority. A draft for the legislation in question has been sent to the Sindh law department for vetting. Afterwards, it would be presented by the Sindh local government secretary in a meeting of the Sindh cabinet.

Once passed, the law would separate the master plan department from the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA).

Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani informed the meeting that buildings on were being constructed illegally in old areas of the city. He said that against the approval of ground-plus-one-storey by the civic authorities concerned, people had been constructing up to five-storey buildings.

He informed the meeting that the construction of illegal buildings was yet to be stopped in the old areas of the city despite a recent incident of building collapse in Timber Market, the residents of which were now without shelter.

The SBCA director general told the meeting that the building in question in the Timber Market area had been declared unsafe for living prior to the incident but its occupants had refused to vacate it.

He said the old areas of the city still had 382 dangerous buildings and advertisements had been published in newspapers to make people aware of the issue.

The Sindh chief secretary asked the relevant officials to take due lawful action against the builders responsible for the construction of unsafe buildings in the city.

He ordered the constitution of a committee with the Karachi commissioner in chair to compile a report on the 382 dangerous buildings in the city so that a plan could be finalised for the resettlement and rehabilitation of their residents.

The Sindh local government secretary, the Heritage Foundation head and other officials also attended the meeting.

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