The Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has allowed pillar construction in residential buildings of more than two storeys on plots measuring 10 marla and above.

“The governing body of the LDA has amended clause 2.6.1 of LDA Building and Zoning Regulations for this purpose. Earlier, no pillar construction was allowed in residential buildings except apartments,” says a spokesman for the LDA.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the spokesman said the authority had also directed that all precautionary measures must be taken to ensure implementation of this permission in letter and spirit and proper enforcement action be taken in case of any misuse.

The LDA had been restricting the construction of residential building pillars on the premise that it could be converted into commercial building by removing the internal walls. In the recent events especially after 2005 earthquake, the frequency of seismic activities has increased, causing a loss of life, damage to property and public infrastructure. It is to be pointed out that a building of 10 marla and above, having a height of 45 feet including added basement and completely made of brick masonry, is vulnerable to seismic activity. The probability of collapse and adverse impact of an earthquake on such a building is far more than the normal buildings.

“A four-storey building constructed totally in masonry without any reinforced concrete framing for continuity and load redistribution is highly vulnerable to collapse and such construction needs to be discouraged.” It’s therefore necessary to amend the high-rise 4-storey residential building regulations by incorporating the RCC column as a compulsory part of a residential building having four or five floors to provide the necessary structural stability in order to withstand earthquakes, the spokesman explained.

ARRESTS: Price control magistrates of the CDGL on Tuesday had arrested 77 shopkeepers and imposed fine of Rs13,500 on others for overcharging, hoarding and selling substandard commodities in open market.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2016