Supreme body for planning, development demanded


–Architects blame Sindh govt for cessation of construction activities

KARACHI: The Institute of Architects Pakistan (IAP) alleged on Wednesday that the Sindh government is responsible for the cessation of construction activities in Karachi, demanding of the government to establish a supreme body for the planning and development of the financial hub of Pakistan to mitigate various issues of the city.

This was told by delegates of Institute of Architects Pakistan here on Wednesday during a visit to the Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) by IAP delegation led by its Chairman Ramiz Baig.

Former Chairman and ruling panel’s Patron-in-Chief Mohsin Sheikhani, ABAD Chairman Muhammad Hassan, Senior Vice Chairman Anwar Dawood, Vice Chairman Abdul Karim Adhia, Chairman of Southern Region Ibrahim Habib and a number of ABAD members were present on this occasion.

Ramiz Baig said that a number of other allied industries are also come to a halt due to ban on construction of high-rise buildings in Karachi. Not only that but engineers and architects are also affected by stoppage of construction activities in the city, he said adding that IAP will work with the ABAD for taking Karachi out of this crisis.

Speaking on this occasion, former chairman of IAP, said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has to enforce a ban on construction of high-rise buildings in Karachi due to lack of infrastructural facilities and water crisis.

He lamented that despite the passage of 19 months of ban on construction of high-rise buildings in the megacity, the Sindh government has not taken any step to end water crisis and build infrastructural facilities to mitigate these issues. He said that the basic problem of Karachi is ineffective Master Plan of the city and that is the reason why a high-powered Supreme body for the construction and development of the city is required.

The government should include all stakeholders including DHA, Cantonment boards, KPT etc, and powers be given to the body to prepare a master plan of the city. He said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has taken a positive step by taking notice of water crisis in Karachi, but, unfortunately, the government of Sindh is yet to take any step towards this issue despite clear orders of the Apex Court. He said that IAP will send a letter to the SCP with suggestions to end water crisis in the city and I hope we will able to bring the city on financial track for the betterment of the city as well as the country.

Another leading member of IAP Shahid Abdullah proposed to build septic tanks on various Nallah in the city to recycle wastewater. The ABAD leadership given him go ahead to build such water recycling plants in the city.

Earlier addressing the meeting, ABAD Chairman Muhammad Hassan Bakshi briefed that more than Rs 600 billion has been stopped due to the ban on construction of high-rise buildings in Karachi. He said that the apex court has allowed construction of ground plus six buildings during last January but Sindh Building Control Authority has not granted a single approval in this regard because Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KW&SB) is not giving NOC for water connection.

He lamented that thousands of people, including engineers and architects, are losing their jobs due to the ban on construction of high-rise buildings. He said that Karachi has more than 50 per cent of katchi abadis and if the ban on construction continues, more of them will emerge.