You can’t build beyond 1 storey, building authority tells Karachi’s poor

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People cannot build anything over a ground plus one floor structure on 120-sq yard plots, the Sindh building control authority has said.

Poor families in informal settlements or slums often build upwards as their families expand.

The ban applies to plots located in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Gulberg, Jamshed Town, Liaquatabad and Nazimabad. It will be effective until a government committee presents a report to the Supreme Court.

The authority’s structure engineer, Ali Mehdi, told SAMAA that the notification has been issued to stop builders from constructing different portions but the authority will soon come up with a relaxation on the new order.

In May 2017, the building authority had banned the construction of above ground plus two storeys across Karachi. This affected high-rises construction of flats and the housing industry. There is a severe housing shortage in Karachi and going up is the only way to tackle it.

The poor tend to only be able to afford 120-square-yard plots and they prefer them in areas close to work. People who live on the outskirts of Karachi, in its suburbs, have to travel long distances to make it to work in the centre of the city. This eats into their daily income. That is why katchi abadies have sprung up in pockets.

As Karachi has grown more dense, the SBCA has tried to clamp down on construction given that water and electricity and sewage infrastructure is strained.

Story first published: 4th April 2018

Originally Posted on SamaaNews

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