Illegal constructions

Another residential building has collapsed in Karachi, this time in Lyari. Two people were killed and 10 others were injured in the incident. This is the second building to have collapsed in the metropolis within a week and the fourth since the start of the year.

City Senior Superintendent of Police informed that the structure of the building appeared to be faulty, which was further weakened due to construction activity on the adjacent plot. A first information report against the owners and builders of the collapsed building and the neighbouring plot was filed on behalf of the state.

Earlier in June, a five-storey building collapsed in the Lyari claiming at least 22 lives. Similarly, at least 27 people died in March when another incident occurred in Gulbahar area. Another such incident occurred in Korangi, which claimed lives of almost four people.  

The concerned authorities have failed to control the mushrooming growth of illegal and hazardous buildings. The Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) is responsible for the incidents as it issues permits to construct these buildings flouting all rules and regulations and bypassing safety standards.

The Supreme Court too took notice of the poor performance of the SBCA and ordered the Sindh government to overhaul the agency. It said that those hindering the performance of others working will be fired on the spot as no one has bothered to take action.

Numerous such structures exist and a large number of neighbourhoods in the city have been built on amenity plots, a practice is known as china cutting. This has ruined the beauty of Karachi by unchecked, haphazard and unauthorised construction of buildings.

The authorities seems to take action in the slum areas of the port city, however, multi-storey buildings are constructed without the approval of a map. It is no secret that a mafia is behind this whole affair, not just one person. In some areas of Karachi, four-storey residential buildings are constructed at 60 yards, 80 yards and 120 yards plots. The authorities have made the lives of the people insecure.

Despite strict orders from the apex court, the illegal construction of buildings continues unabated. The top court should reinforce its decisions to end political patronage and ensure that illegal constructions are completely eliminated. There should also be a large-scale operation against illegal constructions and an urgent crackdown against the corrupt elements in the authorities.

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