The collapse of a residential building in Lyari is not an isolated incident that can be brushed aside. There have three such incidents in the past six months which should be investigated and all those responsible for gross negligence and incompetence should be held accountable.
The building in Lyari was declared unsafe for living three months ago but no action was taken to ensure that it was vacated. Neither were civic amenities of the building disconnected and residents continued to live there until it eventually collapsed. Residents in poor neighbourhoods like Lyari have no option but to live in dangerous buildings due to the lack of affordable housing facilities.
Karachi has been turned into a concrete jungle but now the situation has worsened. Thousands of buildings in the city are unsafe for living and no action has been taken. The biggest responsibility lies with the SBCA which allows haphazard illegal constructions and remains one of the most incompetent organisation involved in receiving hefty payments.
The Supreme Court took notice but even the directives of the highest court are not been implemented. In fact, it has given a new opportunity for SBCA officers to collect more bribes on the pretext of declaring a building as unsafe. The SBCA has allowed the construction of high-rise buildings in Karachi in violation of regulations and is behind encroachments and illegal occupation of public lands.
It is not the case of old, dilapidated buildings but even new buildings are under risk of collapsing either due to faulty construction or substandard material. This is mostly due to the corrupt contractors who cut corners to make profits. This has deprived many needy people of their lifelong savings as they dream for a new home.
No authority neither the provincial government nor the court has taken action against these mafias operating in the city. The buildings have becoming ticking time bombs which can collapse at any moment risking life and limbs. It high time action is taken against these greedy landlords and unscrupulous elements before further lives are lost.