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January 15, 2021

SBCA told to submit report on amendments in building regulations

Karachi

January 15, 2021

The director general of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) has been ordered to submit a progress report with regard to the amendments in the regulations for the purpose of granting no-objection certificates (NOCs) to high-rises in Karachi.

Hearing a petition on Thursday with regard to the implementation of the safety by-laws under the Building Code of Pakistan, a division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar took notice of the non-filing of the progress report by the SBCA.

The court said that the SBCA had been directed to convene a meeting with the civil defence department and the chief fire officer for amendments in regulations to grant NOCs prior to the construction of high-rises in the city. The bench said that neither was any progress report filed in court nor had the focal person of the SBCA appeared in person to update the court on the latest development.

The court then directed the SBCA’s DG to appear in court in person on January 26 and submit the progress report in compliance with the order of the SHC.

Meanwhile, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s counsel informed the court that 30 fire engines had been sent for repairs and six of them were already made functional, while 10 more engines will be repaired and handed over to the municipal body before the end of the month.

The counsel said that 50 more fire engines would be provided by the federal government for the city, resulting in an acute shortage of staff, so directions would have to be issued to the local government secretary to start the recruitment process.

The provincial law officer said that the matter would also be taken up in the meeting of the task force, and that he would communicate the court’s order to the LG secretary for taking the necessary action.

The assistant commissioner (revenue) produced a copy of the minutes of the divisional task force’s meeting in which certain matters were taken up. The assistant commissioner assured the court that the compliance report with regard to the court’s directives would be submitted on the next date of hearing.

The court had been informed earlier that a three-tiered task force on divisional, district and sub-district levels was constituted for the inspection of high-rises, factories and industries either on private complaint or on its own motion to ensure that all fire safety measures were followed at such establishments.