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Body may be set up on building bylaws

The provincial government is considering to set up a centralised agency on the pattern of the Karachi Buildings Control Authority in each of five city district governments to check structures with flawed building and structural plans, it is learnt.

A decision to explore the possibility was taken at a high-level meeting with Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi in the chair last week.

The chief minister was unhappy at the mechanism to enforce building by-laws as the recent collapse of some substandard buildings had resulted in a loss of human lives as well as generated criticism of the government.

The meeting felt that tehsil/town municipal administrations that had been assigned the task in the Punjab Local Government Ordinance lacked capacity and political will to enforce building regulations.

It decided to put in place, at least in five city district governments, new institutional arrangements for strict enforcement of rules.

A committee was also constituted to examine legal and administrative aspects of the present institutional arrangements and propose a new setup to revamp the enforcement mechanism.

The local government secretary would be convener of the committee with housing and urban department, and law secretaries, LDA director-general and Lahore DCO as its members.

The committee had been assigned the task to immediately complete a survey of illegal constructions and dangerous buildings in Lahore, Gujranwala, Multan, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Murree.

Action would be initiated against the owners of such buildings on the basis of this survey.

The government would also approach the Pakistan Quality Standards Authority for notifying quality standards of construction material and then field formations would be directed to ensure that these were complied with in each and every construction.

Meanwhile, two groups have emerged in the ruling PML on illegal buildings issue in Shahalam Market where some floors of a multi-storey had collapsed last month resulting in two deaths and injuries to several others.

One of the groups is reportedly led by Lahore zila nazim and PML district vice-president Mian Amer Mahmood and provincial ministers Abdul Aleem Khan and Mian Aslam Iqbal, the other is commanded by Lahore PML president Mian Munir, Mian Javed Ali, Senator Kamil Ali Agha and Haji Hanif Tayyab, the father of zila naib nazim Idrees Hanif.

The former group reportedly got registered a case on Sept 5 against Asad Munir, son of Mian Munir, with the Mochi Gate police for un-sealing five plazas sealed by an LDA team though the LDA and the traders had agreed on settling the issue amicably on Sept 4.

The FIR has been sealed as the police are making efforts to arrest Asad.

The latter group has brought the matter to the notice of the high command.

Courtesy Dawn

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