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March 17, 2020

Three rickety buildings declared dangerous, demolition work starts on one

Karachi

March 17, 2020

The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) on Monday declared three buildings in Karachi as dangerous. Of them, two buildings were sealed while demolition work was started on one of them.

A ground-plus-three-floor residential building constructed over 54 square yards in a bustling locality in North Nazimabad, Kosar Niazi Colony, had tilted on Sunday. It was declared dangerous by the SBCA the following day.

At around 3pm on Monday, the building control authority’s demolition squad initiated the demolition work in the presence of a heavy contingent of police and Rangers. The demolition was carried out manually as the area is densely populated, said an SBCA official who took part in the demolition work.

The official explained that they had also got two more buildings in the vicinity vacated and cordoned off the area as a precautionary measure. Initially, the walls of the building are being demolished, after which the entire structure would be knocked down by the building authority, which would take at least 15 days.

The building was owned by a man, Muhammad Hanif, and housed five shops on the ground floor and eight flats. The building was inhabited by more than eight families. According to some neighbours, there was a Kachra Kundi (garbage transfer station) on the plot where the building was constructed.

The residents of the building had been evacuated from the building on Sunday night by the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and District Municipal Corporation (DMC) Central.

Meanwhile, the SBCA’s vigilance team sealed a building in Liaquatabad No 10 that had developed cracks. The ground-plus-three-storey building had been illegally constructed on 60 square yards. SBCA Vigilance Director Beenish Shabbir shared that the illegal structure was occupied by as many as eight families.

Another ground-plus-three-storey building constructed over an 80-square-yard plot in Surjani Town was also declared dangerous by the SBCA’s vigilance team, after it started to lean. The building has been vacated and sealed by the building control authority and it has been decided to seek help from the district administration and police for its demolition.

The building was inhabited by a single family and had a tea kiosk and a few shops at its ground floor. Measures have been taken by the SBCA to cordon off the area as the building could collapse any time.

There were also reports circulating on Monday about a rickety building in Kaghzi Bazaar in the Old City area. The pillars of the building have reportedly developed cracks but the SBCA’s demolition team had not reached the site till the filing of this story.

There was also a heritage building adjacent to the building. According to residents of the area, the heritage building was demolished earlier after which the foundations of the building in question started to weaken.

SBCA Structure Director Ali Mehdi did not respond to repeated phone calls by The News. Meanwhile, SBCA Director General Nasimul Ghani Sahito said in a press statement that the building control authority was taking measures against dangerous buildings throughout the city in the light of the Supreme Court orders.

He said in District Central, three residential buildings had been vacated after being notified as hazardous structures. In five towns of the city — Liaquatabad, North Nazimabad, Gulberg, New Karachi and Jamshed Town — he said the SBCA would take action with proper planning against the illegal buildings. All the town directors had been directed to submit reports of dangerous buildings as well as illegal constructions in their areas to the SBCA’s vigilance team, he said.