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Building safety codes to be revised today

ISLAMABAD, Aug 9: The Capital Development Authority (CDA) is set to approve the revised building codes on Tuesday, getting powers to modify private commercial and residential structures to forestall any tragedy in case of fire, earthquake and any other disaster.

“A special board meeting is going to take up the revised draft of Islamabad building codes. Apparently, there seems to be no bottleneck in its passage as draft has been prepared in consultation with all relevant formations,” said a senior CDA official.

Currently, the CDA has no powers to direct private building owners to modify the structures keeping in view the emergency in case of fire, earthquake and blast but under the CDA Ordinance, the board is authorised to pass such building codes.

“From Marriott blast to the recent inferno in Karachi Company, it has been witnessed that the inmates could not find any emergency exit. Either the emergency exits are not provided in the building or blocked just for commercial gains,” he said. The revised building codes would direct the separation of buildings, providing a safe exit for inmates from basements as well as the upper floors. He said the codes would categorise the buildings into commercial, residential and official and would have separate by-laws for each category. “The building with above 15 meters would have totally different regulations from other structures as it would cater for the emergency exit,” the official said.

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