Karachi: The Sindh government is finalising a draft bill to establish a separate authority which will be tasked with formulating a master plan for the city’s urban areas and other regions, according to news sources. This announcement was made in a meeting, presided over by Sindh Chief Secretary (CS) Syed Mumtaz Ali Shah, held to discuss the Karachi Master Plan.
The draft for the formation of the Sindh Urban and Regional Master Plan Authority, as this proposed body will be named, has been submitted for vetting before the provincial law department. Following necessary amendments, the document is expected to be presented in the cabinet meeting for approval. If approved, the master plan department will be separated from the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) by law.
Further, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani informed the meeting that there were many structures found to be illegally constructed in the old city areas. He said that people were building up to five-storey structures against the approval of ground-plus-one-storey building (granted by the civic authorities). The commissioner directed the officials concerned to prohibit these illegal constructions in the old city areas on an immediate basis.
The SBCA director general told the meeting that the city had 382 dangerous/ vulnerable buildings in the said area and an awareness campaign had been launched through newspapers to inform people.
In response, the chief secretary asked for required lawful action to be taken against the builders who constructed these unsafe buildings. He also ordered a committee to be formed under the city commissioner to gather information of these 382 dangerous buildings and present its report, so a comprehensive strategy can be finalised.