The Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s (KMC) Jubilee Market, which had been constructed over a storm water drain in District South’s Garden locality, caved in on Thursday. According to the KMC’s Senior Director (Municipal) SM Taha, the market had been constructed over the Soldier Bazaar Nullah.
Gas pressure during the clearing of the drain is believed to have caused the collapse of the market. Fortunately, no loss of life occurred in the incident, but the goods inside the shops were destroyed.
The market was built right in front of the Jubilee Cinema several decades ago, because of which the Soldier Bazaar drain could not be cleared for years. A few days ago, two of the shops at the market had been razed to clear the nala.
After the collapse, rescue workers started their operation. According to details shared by an official, the KMC’s anti-encroachment department had already issued an eviction notice to the market on the directions of the Supreme Court.
After as many as 10 shops caved in due to gas pressure, the main gate of the market was sealed. According to the district administration, the market collapsed because it had weak foundations due to being built over the drain.
Assistant Commissioner for Garden Mohsin Imtiaz said the slabs on which the market had been constructed had weakened over time, causing the market to collapse. According to Taha, their teams did not even reach the point of the nullah where the rest of the shops were situated for the clearing process.
He said that as of now, six shops each at either ends are tilted, while the market in the middle has caved in. A team of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) will visit the site on Friday (today) and decide the future of the market.
Imtiaz said that once the SBCA’s technical team has visited the market, they will decide if the market can be reopened or if it would have to be knocked down completely.
The assistant commissioner stressed that the fate of the market depends entirely on the report of the SBCA’s structure team. He said that since all the shops are established over the storm water drain, the KMC would decide what to do with the market or if any alternatives would be provided to the shopkeepers.