Mohsin Sheikhani, Chairman Association of Builders and Developers of Pakistan (ABAD), has said that ABAD is making hue and cry since a long time against illegal construction in Karachi and had warned that at least one million people’s lives could be at stake if illegal construction is not stopped forcefully by all means.
The collapse of six-story building has proved real the fear shown by ABAD.
In a statement, after collapse of a six-story building in old Karachi’s densely populated area of Ranchore Lane, he said that illegal construction is being carried out in various areas of Karachi under the nose of Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), which is supposed to regulate construction in the city and all over Sindh.
He said that he had warned recently to Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Secretary Sindh Mumtaz Ali Shah, Sindh Minister for Local Government Nasir Hussain Shah, Advisor to Chief Minister on Law Murtaza Wahab, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal and Chairman Sindh Disaster Management Authority Syed Salman Shah through separate letters regarding illegal construction in Karachi.
However, he continued, no one has paid heed to this warning towards this extremely important issue of human lives. Luckily no casualty is reported in building collapse incidence in Soomro Gali but people residing in this building have lost their homes and their materials, which will leave a bad impact in their minds throughout their lives, he added.
He said that officials of SBCA is now boasting that they did in time act and prevented loss of human lives, but, he questioned that where these officials were when this substandard building was being constructed?
He said that this incidence is vocal proof that SBCA is not working properly to stop illegal construction in the port city despite the fact that Sindh Minister for Local Government Nasir Hussain Shah and Secretary Roshan Ali Sheikh had given strict instruction to SBCA for taking action against illegal construction. On the contrary SBCA is promoting illegal construction for financial gains, he lamented.
It is high time for higher authority to wake and take action against corrupt officials of SBCA and save people’s lives by strictly implementing building bylaws and kick out black sheep from the very sensitive government department like SBCA.