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March 10, 2020

Civic agencies go on demolition spree after Golimar tragedy

Karachi

March 10, 2020

After the collapse of three residential buildings in Golimar on Thursday, different civic agencies of Karachi have gone on a demolition spree.

The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC), the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and the Karachi Development Authority (KDA) demolished illegal and hazardous structures in their respective jurisdictions in the metropolis on Monday.

A five-storey illegal structure constructed over an 80-square yards in district Malir, Quaidabad, opposite to the Deputy Commissioner Malir’s office, was demolished by the KMC’s anti-encroachment. Talking to The News, the corporation’s senior director anti-encroachment, Bashir Siddiqui, said the building was constructed without an approved building plan.

There was a restaurant by the name of Sarhad Hussaini Hotel on the ground floor of the building, he said, and added that other three floors were under construction.

The building, he pointed out, was not occupied and had a very weak infrastructure which was tilting towards the DC office Malir, as additional floors were being constructed over it.

“We pasted notice on the building for about two weeks, but when the owner didn’t turn up we demolished it,” said Siddiqui, and added that the hotel owner was tenant and didn’t know about where the owner of the building was.

Meanwhile, the KMC carried out another anti-encroachment operation in district East’s Kashmir Road and removed all the structures from the footpaths. “Cabins and shops were present at the footpaths of Kashmir Road, which were all removed,” he said.

Another five-storey building constructed over a 40-square yards plot was demolished in Liaquatabad No 3, by the SBCA officials.

In Garden, demolition teams of the SBCA have started to raze a six-storey building erected on a 60 square-yard plot. According to the building bylaws of the SBCA, not more than two storeys above the ground floor are allowed over an 80 square yard plot.

Separately, the KDA’s Estate and Enforcement Cell held an anti-encroachment operation in Surjani Town’s Sector 8, where it faced public resistance. In the operation, plots of 500 to 1,000 yards were vacated, however, when the area people started pelting stones, the operation was halted midway.

On the other hand, the Clifton Cantonment Board (CBC) has written to the deputy inspector general of police in south zone, the senior superintendent of police in district south, and the station house officers in Frrere Hall and Gizri Police station areas for the demolition of unauthorised construction at P&T Colony, Dehli Colony, Punjab Colony, Bukshan Village and Lower Gizri. The first phase of the operation, according to the letter, will initiate from the P&T Colony on Tuesday (today), which will continue till Tuesday, March 31.

The operations started following a ground plus five-storey building, where another floor was being constructed, collapsed and triggered the collapse of two other neighbouring buildings, resulting in the deaths of at least 27 people and leaving several others injured on Thursday in Golimar.