Karachi: Provincial Assembly (PA) of Sindh unanimously passed a law on Monday to allow construction of high-rise buildings in certain areas of the city and various urban centres in the province.
Under the law, “Sindh High Density Development Board” would be created to identity and earmark the high-density zones in urban centres to construct high-rise buildings to ease, what Law Minister Ayaz Soomro called, congestion owing to growing population.
The board chairman would be Governor Sindh while its co-chairman would be Chief Minister Sindh. Its members would include Chief Secretary Sindh, Secretary Local Government, Nazims of the respective districts, executive district officer, head of master plan of the respective districts, while chief controller of buildings or head of building control authority of the respective districts would be its secretary/member.
The law would also provide an “effective mechanism for coordination” among different planning and land owning agencies to formulate a “coherent policy” and ensure integrated development of the high density zones.
The Sindh High Density Development Board Bill was not included in the order of the day for the Sindh Assembly’s Monday session, and the law minister introduced the bill by preparing supplementary orders of the day and sought its consideration on the same day.
Talking about the aims and objects of the bill, Ayaz Soomro said that in the wake of growing population in urban centres the government has decided to construct high-rise buildings to control the congestion problem.
Local Government Minister Aga Siraj Durrani said that this was an important bill and in accordance with the vision of Z.A. Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, which was being followed by President Asif Ali Zardari. He said that certain areas in the cities would be identified for the vertical construction of high-rise buildings.
MQM’s parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmed said that the law seeks to ease the congested areas. He said that the proposed board would have no absolute powers rather it would follow Karachi Building Control Authority Act. He said that prior to allowing construction of 20 to 30 storied buildings it would be ensured that there should not occur any civic facilities problem.
Prison Minister Muzaffar Shujra said that there was a trend of high-rise buildings in the world. Culture Minister Sassui Palijo said that the law would be applicable to the urban centres of Sindh and it would not be restricted to Karachi only.
Humera Alwani wondered as to whether high-rise buildings would also be allowed in Garden East as at present there was ban on it.
Sadiq Memon also supported the bill. PML-F’s Nusrat Abbasi said that it would have been more advisable if the copy of the bill was provided to them prior to presenting it before the house.
After unanimous passage of the bill into law, LG minister Agha Siraj Durrani told media representatives outside the assembly that if such a board was created in the past Karachi would have been a Dubai-like city today.
He said that there was a trend of vertical construction in urban centres all over the world, adding, the board would identity the areas for the construction of multi-storied buildings and the KBCA would give its approval. He said that high-rise buildings would be preferably constructed in coastal areas.[The News]