Wednesday August 17, 2022

Nasla Tower’s demolition work halted over safety concerns

November 23, 2021
Nasla Tower’s demolition work halted over safety concerns

The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) on Monday initiated the pre-demolition work of the Nasla Tower on the directives of Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Memon. However, soon after the commencement of the partial demolition work, Ferozabad Assistant Commissioner Asma Batool stopped it on the grounds of safety concerns.

“The demolition process has been stopped for a while because of the safety concerns of the passers-by,” she said, adding that huge blocks fell on the road during the demolition of the building.

She said that without proper safety measures, no demolition could take place because it could cause damage to human lives. After consulting with the high-ups, the demolition work would resume, she added.

Earlier, the anti-encroachment police of the Sindh Board of Revenue cordoned off the building, following which the SBCA’s demolition squad kicked off the pre-demolition work. District East Deputy Commissioner Asif Jan Siddiqui told the media that the tower’s doors and windows were being removed. He said the anti-encroachment police had been summoned to maintain law and order in the area.

“Initially windows, doors and other small removal of the building parts will take place,” said Siddiqui, adding that there had not been any decision regarding the issuance of a tender for the proper demolition of the building.

He said that until a decision was made regarding controlled blast or manual demolition of the residential-cum- commercial tower, it would be destroyed according to the normal procedure.

Four demolition firms had approached the District East DC’s office for demolishing the Nasla Tower. The city commissioner had formed an eight-member committee for evaluating and selecting an expression of interest sought from different companies for demolishing the Nasla Tower through a controlled blast.

The committee’s members include a representative each from the Sindh police, the SBCA, the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and the Frontier Works Organisation, NED University Head of Civil Engineering Department Abdul Jabbar Sangi, Amber Alibhai of the NGO Shehri and Ferozabad Assistant Commissioner Asma Batool.

Of the four Karachi-based companies, two — Tabani, which works in collaboration with the Chinese company Shenting, and High-Tech Demolition, which works in collaboration with UAE-based GB Demolition Company — have offered a controlled blast demolition, while the other two — Mir Enterprises and ANI Enterprises — have offered a mechanical demolition.

GB Demolition would charge Rs220 million for a controlled blast demolition. The total duration of the demolition work would be 60 days, during which all the equipment and staff would be mobilised to the site.

The company has obtained all the drawings of the building from the commissioner’s office. It is also mentioned in their proposal that all the metal and concrete to be segregated post-demolition is to be disposed of to the nearest safe area as specified by the commissioner’s office.

SBCA Dangerous Buildings Director Beenish Shabbir told The News that no major demolition work would take place until a decision was made regarding the tender.

He said that on the directives of the city commissioner, only windows and doors of the building would be removed, adding that the police had already stopped the movement of traffic around the Nasla Tower.

Assistant Commissioner Asma Batool shared with The News that apart from the windows and doors, other valuables from the building would also be removed. She said that in case a controlled blast was approved, the authorities would have to ensure that only the building’s structure existed and nothing else.

She explained that in a controlled blast everything would be destroyed, so that was why the doors, windows and other valuables from the structure were being removed. On June 16 the Supreme Court had ordered the tower’s demolition due to its illegal construction on a service road, telling the builders to refund the registered buyers of the residential and commercial units within three months.

On September 22 a three-judge SC bench dismissed the review petition against the demolition of the 15-storey building. The court said the petitioner’s counsel had failed to show any title or registered lease deed about the allotment of area in excess of 780 square yards. The court also directed the city commissioner to implement the June 16 demolition order, following which the assistant commissioner of Ferozabad on October 16 served the Nasla Tower residents with an eviction notice, which was also published in newspapers.

Tejori Heights

The demolition of the Tejori Heights took place on Monday on the directives of the SC. The SBCA removed shuttering of the booking office using heavy machinery. The Tejori Heights is an under-construction multi-storey building in Gulshan-e-Iqbal. The court had told the city commissioner and the builders to raze the building after the builders’ counsel could not establish the ownership of the land being used for the construction of the residential complex.