SBCA to evacuate 382 hazardous residential buildings in Karachi

KARACHI: The city administration has directed the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) to vacate the 382 residential buildings declared ‘dangerous’ in the old city area.

In a meeting chaired by Karachi commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani on Monday, SBCA officials were told to complete the task or they would be held responsible if there were any losses.

The majority of the earmarked buildings are located in Saddar, where 295 residential buildings have been declared dangerous. Meanwhile, 44 buildings are in Lyari. SBCA official Askhar Dawar said that out of the 382 dangerous buildings, 339 were located in South district, 14 in East district and 10 in Central district.

He informed the meeting that evacuation notices had been served to the buildings’ owners, but they were not implementing the orders of the building control authority. The participants of the meeting therefore discussed the idea of disconnecting the utilities of such buildings, in order to have them evacuated.

The meeting also discussed the issue of marriage halls established on residential plots, deciding that the SBCA and district administrations would take joint action for their closure.

Korangi additional deputy commissioner Arshad Waris briefed the commissioner about the marriage halls in Korangi, where 45 such halls had been illegally established on residential plots.

The meeting decided that all such marriage halls would be sealed, directing officials to take immediate action against them.

On December 30, 2019, a six-storey residential building located in Soomra Gali, Ranchore Line, collapsed. No casualties were reported, as the residents had evacuated the building themselves just hours before it caved in, upon seeing cracks in the walls. A detailed report of the losses has been provided to Shallwani’s office.

“We are still waiting for the government’s response,” said Ali Suleman Soomro, a resident of the building, adding that those left homeless in the incident were still residing with their relatives.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2020.

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