RCB wakes up to unsafe buildings

RAWALPINDI, Nov 13: The building department of the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board (RCB) has been directed to prepare a report by end of the current month on the commercial buildings where building bylaws have not been adopted.

Rawalpindi Mall Road

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RCB Cantonment Executive Officer Rana Manzoor Ahmed Khan gave these directions to the staff of the building department while chairing a meeting.RCB officials told Dawn on Sunday that according to the building bylaws, it was mandatory for every multi-storey building to have fire fighting arrangements, emergency exits and proper space for parking.

They said that the RCB had received complaints that more than 100 commercial buildings in the cantonment area lacked the mandatory facilities according to the building bylaws. They said that the RCB would take action against the owners of those buildings where the parking place had not been allocated and they failed to adopt building bylaws.According to building bylaws, essential safety measures are required in commercial, industrial and public buildings to ensure safety of the people in case of fire or any other emergency. The layout plan of the commercial buildings must have a basement and front area for parking. It should also have exit doors, fire hydrants, fire-isolated stairs, emergency lifts, mechanical ventilation, sprinkling system, smoke alarms, safety management system and a fire control centre.

The officials said that the newly-constructed buildings in which building bylaws were not adopted, were located in Saddar, The Mall,
Peshawar Road, Adamjee Road, Chotta Bazaar, Tench Bhatta and adjoining areas. They said that there were more than 20 private hospitals in cantonment area where building bylaws had not been followed.

They said that some buildings in Chotta Bazaar were located in narrow streets and could be dangerous if the building bylaws were not adopted there.

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